By Sally Sales (auth.)
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Additional resources for Adoption, Family and the Paradox of Origins: A Foucauldian History
What becomes interesting some 20 years later is how adoption did incorporate the incest taboo into its legal operation, suggesting that a fuller simulation of the blood tie became possible after the Second World War. Conclusion This chapter has traced the emergence of adoption in 1926 from out of the paradoxical place that the family had come to occupy at the end of the nineteenth century. What made the emergence of adoption possible by the 1920s was the new importance accorded to the family as a place for both promoting and safeguarding the development of children.
This immediately opened up the possibility of substitute kinship. However, the place of original kinship was considered so fundamental that it could only be relinquished with consent and not transferred against family wishes. As we will see below, adoption was inaugurated as a substitution for that which the illegitimate child lacked – a proper biological family. Yet, the open practices with the family of origin that adoption has always sustained worked to destabilise and expose this substitution, reinscribing the importance of the very blood tie that adoption was meant to replace and simulate.
The family was such an idealised and untouched space at the centre of Victorian society Emergence of Adoption 31 that it could not be easily simulated or substituted and its kinship ties not easily severed. Clearly, this was not a culture where adoption was possible; there would need to be two transformations in the concept of family before adoption could become a substitute form of care: the family would need to become a place for public intervention and parenting would need to become a primary psychological task in the production of children’s natures.
Adoption, Family and the Paradox of Origins: A Foucauldian History by Sally Sales (auth.)