Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Long Way Home: A Glimpse at Transnational Adoption

A wonderful essay by Molly McCullough, an adult adoptee -- here's a taste, but read the whole thing:
As a transnational/transracial adoptee, I have come to realize that no amount of scholarly expertise can possibly assuage or help elucidate the convoluted politics of transnational adoption. The research process for this paper has been an arduous journey of selfdiscovery, self-acceptance, and self-preservation. When we consider transnational adoption, we must, inescapably, confront issues that are far more poignant than international politics, far more heart-rending than legal processes; we encounter the profound, emotional and often overwhelmingly painful conditions that
circumscribe the lives of real people. Transnational adoption irrevocably transforms the lived experience of biological parents, adoptive families, and adopted children -- in many ways that are not overtly apparent.

* * *

Would I prohibit transnational adoption? Do I condemn the practice entirely? Does
transnational adoption dismantle the nuclear family model? I don't know. What I do know, however, is that feminist scholars who assume a rigid position on either side of the transnational adoption debate, pro or con, are regressing rather than rogressing. At stake here is a multivocal narrative that encompasses the biological mother, the adoptive family, and the transnational adoptee. While it is fruitful to consider opposing elements, it is a very different matter to espouse one narrative over another, which implies the privileging of one voice over another. This approach is
counterproductive and does not allow us to consider the broad range of perspectives inherent in this issue. Moreover, ethical issues cannot truly be deconstructed if the methods employed by scholars to analyze them are finite. In other words, if the very objective of confronting a multifaceted debate is to unearth definitive, one-sided solutions, the effort becomes futile, paradoxical, even. Scholars must approach this controversy with wisdom and flexibility as they collaborate with those of us who live, every day, the reality about which they theorize. They must look to the ransnational
adoptees whose bodies have become locales for emerging and dominant discourses. We, too, are the experts. It is our time to speak.
It's a really terrific paper from a college student -- I'd probably faint if I got something half this good from one of my law students (and I get some pretty good stuff from my students)! I found the essay at John Raible's invaluable blog.


Wendy said...

Okay...I have to find 30 minutes so I can read all of the great articles you have given us. I would pass out as well if I received something that well articulated from one of my students! lol I guess I have to cut some slack, I teach 1st and 2nd year college students.

John Raible said...

The author IS a second year college student! Molly is amazing. Can't wait to see what she does after graduation!