Papadada: Reinventing the Family

Andrew Elfenbein, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
John Watkins, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Vol. 21, No. 2 (Fall 2002), 301-317

This article examines the ways in which adoptions differ depending on the heteronormativity of the adopting family, in particular, adoptions conducted by heterosexual couples versus homosexual couples. The essay asks, if the pregnant woman is a symbol of American nationalism, then what does adoption by two men symbolize? At issue is not so much disagreement with a homosexual partnership, but rather that such a lifestyle means there will not be a mother to raise the child. The concern that if the family has no mother, then the focus becomes providing a surrogate. This essay examines not only the rhetoric of adoption—that if two men are adopting a child, female role models must somehow be provided—but the problems that same-sex couples face when adopting internationally.


Mary Wollstonecraft Sojourner Truth Margaret Atwood Abigail Adams Amy Tan H.D. Simone de Beauvoir Zora Neale Hurston Frances Burney Virginia Woolf

"The white saxifrage with the indented leafe is moste commended for the breakinge of the Stone."

— Turner, Herbal, III, 68 [1568]