Enacting the family: The Performance of Kinship in Adoptive Parents' Weblogs

Macarena García González

Abstract


Abstract: Adoptive parents have turned to be passionate bloggers. Couples adopting internationally are using the internet intensely to share experiences and pieces of advice in the form of autobiographical accounts of their (troubled) adoption processes. These blogs not only connect a community facing multiple difficulties but, moreover, enact the family where the blood ties are missing. This study examines how the blogs of parents adopting girls in China perform parenthood by paralleling the adoption to the biological processes of pregnancy and giving birth. These blogs illuminate life writing's 'performativity' showing how they give the parents a sense of parenthood and offer the adoptees a sense of 'daughterness'. Moreover, they reveal how the performance of the adoptive family not only serves domestic purposes but also legitimates the practice of international adoption of children, which is regarded with suspicion by the international community. The outcome of this article shall not only contribute to the debate on how life writing impacts the writer's life and the society's approach towards the adoptees, but also to the broader field of studies on how cultural texts create social relations and assist processes of identity formation.

Keywords


Weblogs; transnational adoption; web-based communities; performativity.

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


------ “Chinese Folkore & Factoids.” Sarah’s Stories. N.D. WEB. October 31st, 2011.

Birch, Cyril. Tales from China. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Bos, Pien. Once a Mother: Relinquishment and Adoption from the Perspective of Unmarried Mothers in South India. Nijmegen: Radboud University, 2008. http://dare.ubn.kun.nl/bitstream/2066/73643/1/73643.pdf

Bruner, J. "Life as Narrative." Social Research 54 (1987): 11-32.

Dorow, S. Transnational adoption: a cultural economy of race, gender, and kinship. NY: NYU Press, 2006.

Eakin, P. J. Living Autobiographically. How We Create Identity in Narrative. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2008.

Hedetoft, U. The postnational self: belonging and identity Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002.

Herman, E. Kinship by design: a history of adoption in the modern United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Heyliger, F. C. "The Answer (to an adopted child)". Saturday Evening Post: Indianapolis. Web. 1952. http://poetry.adoption.com/poems/the-answer-to-an-adopted-child.html

Hirsch, M. Family Frames. Photography, narrative and Postmemory. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Hübinette, Tobias. "Adopted Koreans and the Development of Identity in the 'Third Space'." Adoption & Fostering Journal 28.1 (2004): 16-24.

Jacobson, H. Culture Keeping: White Mothers, International Adoption, and the Negotiation of Family Difference. NY: Vanderbilt University Press, 2008.

Landow, G. P. (2006). Hypertext 3.0: critical theory and new media in an era of globalization, Johns Hopkins University Press.

Langellier, Kristin M.. Personal narrative. Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms. M. Jolly. London: Fitzroy Dearborn. 2001. 699-701.

Langellier, K., and E. E. Peterson. Storytelling in Daily Life: Performing Narrative. Temple University Press, 2004.

Marre, Diana and Joan Bestard-Camps. La adopción y el acogimiento. Presente y perspectivas. Barcelona: Edicions Universitat Barcelona, 2004.

Marré, D. & L. Briggs. International adoption: global inequalities and the circulation of children. NY: NYU Press, 2009.

McCrossin, T. (2002) “The adoption wait”. China adoption poems. Website. Accessed: November 1st 2011. http://chinaadoptpoems.blogspot.com/2007/03/pregnant-wait.html

Laurie McNeill, "Teaching an Old Genre New Tricks: The Diary on the Internet,"Biography 26 (Winter 2003): 26. 24.

Lejeune, P. On Diary. Hawai, Versa Press, 2009.

Modell, Judith. Kinship with Strangers: Adoption and Interpretations of Kinship in American Culture. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2003.

Porter Abbott, H. The Cambridge introduction to narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Rak, J. "The Digital Queer: Weblogs and Internet Identity." Biography 28 (2005): 166-182.

Serfaty, V. "Online Diaries: Towards a Structural Approach." Journal of American Studies 38.3 (2004): 457-471.

Smith, Sidonie and Julia Watson ed. Getting a life: everyday uses of autobiography Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

Swindler, Ann. Culture in Action: Symbols and Strategies. American Sociological Review, 51.2. (1986): 273-286.

Thompson, N. S. "Hague is Enough? A Call for More Protective, Uniform Law Guiding International Adoptions." Wisconsin International Law Journal, 22(2004): 441. http://hosted.law.wisc.edu/wordpress/wilj/files/2012/02/thompson.pdf

Trenka, J. J. The Language of Blood: A Memoir. Borealis Books, 2003.

Triseliotis, John. “Inter-Country Adoption: Global Trade Or Global Gift?" Mine - Yours - Ours and theirs. Adoption, Changing Kinship and Family Patterns. Ed. Anne-Lise Ryggvold and Monica and Saetersdal Dalen Barbro. Oslo: Department of Special needs Education, (1999) 14-31.

Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen, Simon & Schuster, 1997.

UNICEF. “UNICEF's position on Inter-country adoption”. Unicef Press Centre. N.d. Web. November 1st 2011. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_41918.html

Volkman, T. A. ed. Cultures of Transnational Adoption. Durham and London: Duke UP, 2005.

Volkman, T. A. "Embodying Chinese Culture. Transnational Adoption in North America." Social Text 74(2003): 29-55.

Wallen, J. “Autobiography and the Internet: Representations of Self in a Posthuman Era.” Modern Language Convention. Philadelphia. (2004).

Zelizer, Viviana A. Pricing the Priceless Child: The Changing Social Value of Children. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.

Blogs cited

---- Mi pequeña mariquita Jinghai. February 14th, 2012. mipequeamariquitajinghai-jinghai.blogspot.com/

Ana. “El Matching Room”. Esperando con ilusión. September 16th, 2007. Web. October 31st, 2011 esperandoconilusion.nireblog.com/

Charity. “Enough Red Threads to Make a Quilt.” Welcome Home to the Happy Haus…. October 5th, 2011. Web. October 31st, 2011. welcometothehappyhaus.blogspot.com/ -

Esther. “MÁS DE TRES AÑOS ESPERANDOTE.” May 5, 2009. and “No me olvido de ti” July 29th, 2008. Mi niña Candela. Mi tesoro chino. Web. November 5, 2011. http://preciosacandela.blogspot.com/

Juan y Helena. La Gran Aventura China. Web. February 21st, 2012. http://granaventurachina.blogspot.com/

Kathy. Jazmyne Rose-Noel’s Amazing Red Thread Journey Home. Web. February 14th, 2012. http://jazzyrose.blogspot.com/

Manuel, A. “As nenas de Poyang.” La Princesa del Alto. September 26th, 2009. Web. March 14th, 2010. princesadelalto.blogspot.com/.../as-nenas-de-poyang.

Mar. “Tiempo de espera para la adopción en China.” March 14, 2009 and “Del abandono a la Matching Room.” August 30, 2008. Mi peque vino de china. Web. February 10th, 2012. mipequeesperaenchina.blogspot.com/

Melissa. Our adoption journey. "We are home." May 22, 2011. Web. February 10th, 2012. http://melissaandtimadopt.wordpress.com/

Randy & Cara. “How we celebrated getting out of review.” Our China & South Carolina Adoption Journey. July 6th, 2007. Web. October 31st, 2011. http://www.waitingforourgift.blogspot.ch/

Rosalía Yan. “Los vestidos de Jianxi.” El blog de Chun Yan. October 7th, 2009. Web. February 10th, 2012. www.chunyan.lacoctelera.net/

Tas. Our Fam Ethan and Anya. Web. February 21st, 2012. www.ourfamethananya.blogspot.com/

Tony and Sue. Our China Journeys. October 21, 2008. Web. February 14th, 2012. http://smithtigers.blogspot.ch/




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.2.27

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2015 Macarena García González

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by the VU University Library.