CFP: A Collection of Essays on Adoption and Disability

Co-editors Emily Hipchen and Marina Fedosik are seeking submissions for a collection of critical essays exploring cultural meanings of adoption through a combined lens of adoption and disability studies.

The overall ubiquity of the disability discourse in adoption culture is hard to deny. It is explicit, for instance, in constructions of single motherhood as psychopathology in the middle of the twentieth century in the U.S.—an ideology that intensified social pressure on single mothers to relinquish their children for adoption. It is also present in the cultural perceptions of infertility as a physical impairment, which adoption can remedy and conceal. It is employed within the context of the adoptee rights movement by the searching adoptees that support their claims to the knowledge of personal history by identifying with the debilitating condition of “genealogical bewilderment.” Such pervasiveness undoubtedly points to the importance of understanding how cultural ideas about disability inflect meanings and functions of adoption, kinship, family.

The co-editors invite the essays that may consider the following topics among others:

  • Disability and domestic, transracial, and/or transnational adoption
  • Disability and adoptive identity
  • American family, disability, and adoption
  • Adoption, disability and social/cultural institutions
  • Adoption and disability in film, literature, and other media
  • Adoption, disability, and kinship ideologies
  • Adoption, disability, and performance
  • Adoption and disability in history
  • Adoption, disability, and gender
  • Adoption, disability, and citizenship
  • Global perspectives on adoption and disability; disability,  adoption, and birth countries
  • Adoption, disability, and age
  • Body and affect in the context of adoption/disability
  • Disability and adoptive/birth parents

Please send MLA-formatted full essays with 250-word abstracts to by June 30, 2013. Essays should be 7500-11000 words with Works Cited included.  For more information about the project email Marina Fedosik at

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