Family Routes: Transnational Adoption & the Production of Nationhood
co-sponsored by East Asian Studies and Asian American & Asian Diaspora Studies
author books available for sale at the event
Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America
Prof. Catherine Ceniza Choy, Ethnic Studies
Prof. Choy will discuss the findings explored in her recent publication, Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America (NYU Press, 2013). In the last fifty years, transnational adoption—specifically, the adoption of Asian children—has exploded in popularity as an alternative path to family making. Despite the cultural acceptance of this practice, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the factors that allowed Asian international adoption to flourish. In Global Families, Prof. Choy unearths the little-known historical origins of Asian international adoption in the United States. Beginning with the post-World War II presence of the U.S. military in Asia, she reveals how mixed-race children born of Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese women and U.S. servicemen comprised one of the earliest groups of adoptive children. Based on extensive archival research, Global Families moves beyond one-dimensional portrayals of Asian international adoption as either a progressive form of U.S. multiculturalism or as an exploitative form of cultural and economic imperialism. Rather, Choy acknowledges the complexity of the phenomenon, illuminating both its radical possibilities of a world united across national, cultural, and racial divides through family formation and its strong potential for reinforcing the very racial and cultural hierarchies it sought to challenge.
Prof. Mark Jerng, UC Davis, English