By Peter Conn (auth.)
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Extra resources for Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History
374. David Schneider, American Kinship, p. 116. ” Anthony Good, “Kinship,” in Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology (New York: Routledge, 1996), p. 311. ”) Guy Robinson, Philosophy and Mystification, pp. 225, 274. 1057/9781137333919 2 Adoption’s Long and Often Surprising History Conn, Peter. Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 1057/9781137333919. 1057/9781137333919 Adoption’s Long and Often Surprising History 25 The first surprise, at least to me, is that adoption occurs quite regularly among non-human primates, other animals, and even birds.
Most societies have insisted on the link between sexual intercourse and the exclusive legitimacy of descent: children “of the body” take precedence. This has certainly been the case across post-classical Europe, as I will discuss a little later. In contrast, in the words of one scholar, Roman sexuality did not create any relationship between partners; it was neither a service rendered nor a form of communication. It founded no obligation or bond on either side. 36 In addition, a newborn was not a member of the family until the child was “chosen” by the father.
Given the purpose of adoption, as a mechanism for ensuring a father’s family name and estate, adoptive sons were typically adults, rather than children. Adults had already survived the various illnesses that carried off so many Roman children. ”34 Presumably, Roman fathers paid a price in diminished loyalty from natal children who knew that their status as heir was always provisional. In any case, the choices available to Roman fathers were embedded in what was called the patria potestas (the paternal control), a power that conferred a discretion that modern readers find breathtaking.
Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History by Peter Conn (auth.)