The End of International Adoption?: Interview with Bruno Perreau in Alternatives Economiques

Bruno Perreau gave an interview for the September issue of the French-language magazine Alternatives économiques about the current state of affairs with international adoption, and its political and cultural backdrop. The article quotes Perreau as saying, “At all levels, adoption is never insignificant. It raises issues of national sovereignty, challenges the individual identities and collective imaginary.”

Bruno Perreau is Associate Professor of French Studies in Global Studies and Languages at MIT. His latest book The Politics of Adoption (MIT Press, 2014) shows how the belief in a French nature, driven by heteronormative family norms, has become the backbone of citizenship in France.  He questions debates in bioethics as well as political conflicts over gay marriage and filiation. He studies the legal history of adoption, the impact of European jurisprudence, social work, as well as the accounts candidates for adoption give of themselves. He analyzes the emergence of new forms of expertise around the notion of parenting in the mass media and the internet, and question adoption as a metaphor of belonging in the context of immigration policies. His book ends up with a broader analysis of the “governance for the future” and the changing status of childhood in contemporary France.