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

Macarena García González


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.


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

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.2.27


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