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Developments in intercountry adoption: From humanitarian aid to market-driven policy and beyond

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Abstract:

Intercountry adoption (ICA) began after World War II, but opinions differ regarding how the practice has been described and classified in the literature. Alexandra Young examines how various researchers have inter preted its history and proposes a new analysis of the phases in its development. The beginning of ICA was strongly influenced by humanitarian ideals and a desire to help children dislocated by war and natural disasters. During the next period, the motivation changed and it became a solution that satisfied the needs of both devel oping and developed countries for finding families for children. As the number of children available in developed countries declined, a market mentality evolved in relation to the availability of children. This was followed by the current phase when sending countries are developing domestic solutions for children needing families, leading to a fall in the number of children available for ICA. This article examines this history and discusses factors that have influenced past and present policy and practice.

Keywords: ADOPTION HISTORY; CHILDREN AND FAMILIES; INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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