Adoption has always had a political dimension.
Adoption has always had a political dimension. Its use to achieve political ends has been evident throughout history and in many different cultures. In Roman times, an emperor would adopt a successful general to continue his rule.1 In Ireland, under the Brehon Laws, the reciprocal placements of children between clans was an accepted means of cementing mutual allegiances.2 In Japan, the adoption of non-relatives was traditionally seen as a means of allying with the fortunes of the ruling family.3 The willingness of governments to use adoption as a political strategy was apparent, for example, in Australia where it was used to further the assimilation of indigenous people.4 It is now present in the phenomenon of intercountry adoption where the flow of children, particularly in the aftermath of war, is often politics by proxy.
KeywordsEurope Assimilation Ethos
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