The Politics of Adoption. Gender and the Making of French Citizenship
In May 2013, France legalized same-sex marriage and adoption by homosexual couples. Obstacles to adoption and parenting equality remain, however—many of them in the form of cultural and political norms. In The Politics of Adoption, Bruno Perreau describes the evolution of French adoption policies. In the past thirty years, Perreau explains, political and intellectual life in France have been dominated by debates over how to preserve “Frenchness,” and these debates have driven policy making. Perreau discusses judicial action on adoption; child welfare agencies as gatekeepers to parenthood (as defined by experts); the approval process from the viewpoints of social workers and applicants; and adoption’s link to citizenship, and its use as a metaphor for belonging. Adopting a Foucaultian perspective, Perreau calls the biopolitics of adoption “pastoral”: it manages the individual for the good of the collective “flock”.