The discussion of adoption is stuck in morass of dueling narratives vying for importance. Purposefully overlooked are the historical, economic, and political underpinnings of adoption, and how adoption narratives and the way they are mediated are manifestations of these.
And so adoption’s historical shift and elevation to a method of family creation is thus inherently premised wholly upon the rise of the United States as an imperial power in the years following World War II. In terms of empire, it replaced an exhausted Britain, and surpassed the now defeated Europe and Japan, with the children of these places seen as additional spoils of war, and setting the standard of such child-mining for the coming wars in Korea, Viet Nam, South America, etc. What transpired on the macro level of politics and diplomacy resonates psychologically speaking in our own treatment as adoptees.
The act of adoption is thus a crucible of the culture’s view of humanity, namely, an infinite population of “wretched refuse” awaiting salvation from an exceptionalist nation. That adoption so clearly fits into this imperial mythology is witnessed by its exaltation within every part of the empire’s power structure. The legal, governmental, social, cultural, medical, religious, and mediated realms all assume adoption as the status quo, and all adapt themselves to facilitate and justify its predominant use at the expense of all other prevailing notions of rights and ethics.