The Editors of Adoption & Culture in collaboration with the Guest Editors listed below seek manuscripts for a special issue, entitled “Adoption Pedagogy: Challenges, Implications, and Practices.”

Adoption & Culture publishes essays on any aspect of adoption’s intersection with culture, including but not limited to scholarly examinations of adoption practice, law, art, literature, ethics, science, life experiences, film, or any other popular or academic representation of adoption. Adoption & Culture accepts submissions of previously unpublished essays for review.

Adoption & Culture is the journal of The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture (ASAC). ASAC promotes understanding of the experience, institution, and cultural representation of domestic and transnational adoption and related practices such as fostering, assisted reproduction, LGBTQ+ families, and innovative kinship formations. ASAC considers adoptive kinship to include adoptees, first families, and adoptive kin. In its conferences, other gatherings, and publications ASAC provides a forum for discussion and knowledge creation about adoption and related topics through interdisciplinary, culture-based scholarly study and creative practice that consider many ways of perceiving, interpreting, and understanding adoption.

Adoption studies scholarship explores multiple aspects of adoption’s intersection with culture including, but not limited to, scholarly examinations of adoption practice, law, art, literature, ethics, science, life experiences, and film. Adoption scholars examine discourses of adoption in all its various ways, complicating the ways adoption engages with normative ideologies of identity, family, culture, race, gender, nation, and citizenship. “Adoption Pedagogy: Challenges, Implications, and Practices” will examine the question: In this current moment of the multiculturalism and post-raciality on one hand and reinvigorated forms of neoliberalism, heteropatriarchy, and racism on the other, how do we execute the task of teaching adoption?

For this special issue, we seek essays that critique problematic ways of teaching adoption, ask incisive questions about adoption pedagogies, identify the larger stakes in teaching adoption, and offer new pedagogical methods for this subject matter. Appropriate approaches may include work that challenges dominant narratives of adoption as “rescue,” that defines best practices, and those that address the positionality of instructors and students with a relationship to adoption (adoptees, first/birth families, adoptive parents, siblings) in the classroom. We welcome submissions from across disciplines and insights that discuss pedagogy at varying educational levels and in various settings. Manuscripts might address one of the following questions:

  • What does “teaching adoption” mean for faculty and their students? What are the epistemological possibilities/challenges when adoption is brought into the classroom?
  • How do pedagogical practices fit within the field of adoption studies?
  • Academics whose scholarly work focuses on adoption often teach courses that are not adoption-specific. Rather, adoption themes are integrated into existing courses. What are examples of ways this is accomplished? What pedagogical methods create the most effective learning opportunities for students?
  • What happens when adoption is integrated or deployed as an analytical lens to examine other phenomena? How is this useful pedagogically? What gets taught and/or learned?
  • What are the generative and restrictive aspects of comparing adoption with other experiences, processes, and industries? Where is it commensurable and incommensurable?
  • How does adoption challenge or reinforce the discourse of “normativity”? How can critical adoption perspectives be used in the classroom to challenge heteronormative and bio-normative practices?
  • How do we anticipate the ways in which adopted students or those with a relationship to adoption (siblings, parents) experience adoption content? Are there resources that exist or can be developed to help address such experiences? What are the possibilities/challenges of the instructor’s positionality/relationship to adoption? Is it possible to have no positionality? If so, is it workable, and what does that mean for the classroom?
  • In what ways do adoption pedagogy and activism intersect?
  • In what ways is/can adoption content intersect with topics of racism, colonialism, feminism, globalization, capitalism, immigration, school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration, queer studies, and critical disability studies in the curriculum or classroom?
  • What are the ethical dilemmas of teaching adoption?
  • What are the dangers of liberalism in adoption pedagogy?
  • If pedagogy is considered broadly, what are other forms in which individuals, organizations, and institutions use adoption pedagogy?

Please submit a 500 word abstract by March 15, 2018 to Any questions about this special issue can be sent to JaeRan Kim at the email above. Authors will be notified of their accepted abstracts by April 1, 2018. Final manuscripts are due August 15, 2018.



Guest Editors:

JaeRan Kim, University of Washington Tacoma

Kit Myers, California State University

Elizabeth Raleigh, Carleton College

Kimberly McKee, Grand Valley State University