Transnational Families: Changes in Adoption and the Diffusion of Western Norms
In this article Signe Howell argues that transnational adoption must be analysed as part of an increasing globalisation of norms and values.
Since the late 1960s the number of children adopted from countries in the poor South, and more recently from the former Soviet bloc countries, to prospective parents - mainly involuntarily childless couples - in the rich North, has seen a dramatic increase. More than 40,000 children were adopted by people in Western Europe and North America in 2004, and the demand is steadily rising - not least because Spain and Italy, which previously did not engage in the practice, have started to do so. Today, in terms of transnational adoption per capita, the Autonomous Community of Catalonia in Spain shows the highest rate at 2.3 percent of live births, followed by Spain as a whole and Norway, each With 1.6 percent.