'These infants are future Australians': Making the nation through intercountry adoption

Murphy, Kate, Cuthbert, Denise and Pinto, Sarah (2010) 'These infants are future Australians': Making the nation through intercountry adoption. Journal of Australian Studies, 34 2: 141-161. doi:10.1080/14443051003721171

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Author Murphy, Kate
Cuthbert, Denise
Pinto, Sarah
Title 'These infants are future Australians': Making the nation through intercountry adoption
Journal name Journal of Australian Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1444-3058
Publication date 2010-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14443051003721171
Open Access Status
Volume 34
Issue 2
Start page 141
End page 161
Total pages 21
Editor Melissa Harper
Maggie Nolan
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The formal practice of intercountry adoption has its origins in the immediate postwar years but has increased in scale over the past two decades. Although rates of intercountry adoption remain low in Australia, in recent years proponents have called for the transnational adoption of children to be made more readily accessible by Australian couples. As researchers working on the history of adoption in Australia, we are interested in the ways in which intercountry adoption is conceptualised in current discourse. This article examines the manner in which submissions to a 2005 government inquiry into intercountry adoption in Australia mobilised the idea of the 'interests of the nation' in their arguments for intercountry adoption, a deployment which - on the surface - seems to represent a break with the nation-building rhetoric associated with 'White Australia', a policy which dominated attitudes to immigration and population growth for much of the twentieth century, and one which continues to have a strong resonance. However, we would like to suggest that this strategic deployment of the national interest by proponents of intercountry adoption in fact perpetuates many of the discourses and outcomes associated with earlier population and nation-building policies in Australian history.
Keyword Adoption
Intercountry adoption
Transnational adoption
Nation building
White Australia
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Fri, 25 Mar 2011, 09:40:50 EST by Dr Sarah Pinto on behalf of !NON-HERDC