Active Waiting and Hopes in Transnational Adoptions: The Case of Nepali Birth Families’ Searching for their Children

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Abstract

The experiences of adoptive parents and the voices of professionals receive much academic and public attention, but the narratives of birth families are among the most silenced figures. This article offers a critical analysis of the transnational adoption system by exploring the narratives and experiences of Nepali birth families. Drawing on a 14-month ethnographic study, I explore how birth families’ search for their children illuminates the agency of waiting and opens up new possibilities for thinking critically about the politics of adoption. I aim to contribute to existing knowledge and scholarship on “waiting” by exploring the lived experience of some long-silenced figures in the field of transnational adoption. This article contrasts the absence of birth families with the active search that some families have undertaken. It concludes by making visible the power inequalities that shape family policy. This research opens new avenues for deconstructing hegemonic narratives that exist in transnational adoption by locating the birth families’ narratives at the heart of reflections.
Translated title of the contributionEspera activa y esperanzas en las adopciones transnacionales: El caso de las familias biológicas nepalíes que buscan a sus hijos
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsian Studies Review
Publication statusAccepted in press - 25 Aug 2022

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