Print version ISSN 0104-8333
FONSECA, Claudia. From child circulation to international adoption: questions of ownership and belonging. Cad. Pagu [online]. 2006, n.26, pp. 11-43. ISSN 0104-8333. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-83332006000100002.
In this article, I examine a local practice - the circulation of children in working-class neighborhoods of a large Brazilian city - by situating it within a wider context which includes national and international adoption. I begin with the ethnographic description on mutual help networks and family-related values of two poverty-stricken women who have given their children to be raised by others. I then seek to understand the place child placement holds in the life experience of these women, and, by extension, the way laws governing legal adoption connect with their way of seeing the process. Finally, in the light of this ethnographic material on "child donors", I weave a short reflection on discourses held by Europeans and North Americans on adoption, questioning the particular way these discourses filter through to and operate on the international arena.
Keywords : Children; Kinship; Adoption; Social Policy.