Once again, my personal life and my professional life are intersecting! I’m working on a new journal article about international adoption. Neither Family Law nor International Law was my area, but since adopting my kids my work has slowly shifted in that direction. I convinced my law school to host a conference on International Adoption in 2003, I wrote an article about judicial recognition of foreign decrees of adoption, I started teaching Adoption Law, I wrote an article about the constitutional restriction that prevents my children from growing up to be president, I taught at a Chinese law school, I wrote an article about Chinese legal education. . . . I would NEVER have done any of these things if I hadn’t adopted Zoe and Maya. And what about this blogging thing? I don't think I'd be doing that, either!
This new article I'm working on is looking at the mini-trend (micro-trend?) toward increasing openness in international adoption, mirroring somewhat the trend toward openness in domestic adoption in the U.S. I’ve been intrigued by stories I’ve blogged about -- like Arun Dohle’s, where he is seeking information about his birth parents in India; Lydia‘s, where the search for birth parents is a matter of life and death; Flora‘s, where the search is motivated by concern that the child was trafficked, but where a relationship of continuing contact with her birth mother then develops. . . . And, of course, I’m influenced by my own pitiful attempts at searching.
So, I’m looking at international human rights law, including the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Declaration of Human Rights, and other sources, to see if I can develop an argument that supports increased openness in international adoption. As my research progresses and my thesis solidifies, I’ll be sharing it all here (whether you like it or not!).
Has this happened to anyone else, or am I completely abnormal? Have you seen unexpected side-effects of your adoption experience? Is it bleeding over into your professional life? Has it changed you in ways you didn’t expect, in ways beyond the way parenthood would change you? Please share!