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Moving Children through Private International Law: Institutions and the Enactment of Ethics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2024


This article examines how the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) plays a central role in justifying the institution of legal adoption. The Hague Adoption Convention has often been regarded as a response to the challenges that the “global situation” brings to adoption practice. Based on private international law, the agreement contains protocols and norms to ensure the protection of the child in intercountry adoption. In the article, I propose that the Hague Convention can be understood as a “transparency device”; a complex assemblage working in pursuit of global “good governance.” The device, however, also operates as justification within the institutional domain, allowing adoption agencies to make distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate adoptions. Idemonstrate how the logic of transparency disguises as much as it promises to reveal. While the doctrine's aim is to validate adoptability and combat trafficking, it also helps to mainstream Euro-American adoption knowledge to other parts of the world.

© 2019 Law and Society Association.

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I would like to express my gracious thanks to the three reviewers who provided valuable comments and suggestions for improvement. I would also like to thank my editor Catherine V. Howard for her generous work in editing my article and for her insightful feedback.


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