Rescue, red tape, child abduction, illicit adoptions, and discourse: Intercountry adoption attitudes in Spain

Beatriz San Román, Karen S Rotabi

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Evidence of child abduction for intercountry adoption challenges our notions of altruism. The history of illicit adoptions and child abduction is presented with specific emphasis on Guatemala as a case example. Drawing on data produced in an ethnographic research, the analysis searches to elucidate how those involved in intercountry adoption in Spain (mainly adoptive and prospective adoptive parents) deal with signs of fraud and corruption. The results point out how these discourses usually dismiss the failures of the system and revolve around the idea of rescue. The rights of birth families – and even their mere existence – are usually absent in the discussion.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Social Work
StatePublished - Jul 24 2017


  • Child abduction
  • discourse
  • human trafficking
  • intercountry adoption
  • Spain
  • transnational adoption


  • Economics
  • Sociology

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