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History of adoption

Histoire de l'adoption

Special issue - Annales de démographie historique

Dossier thématique - Annales de démographie historique

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Published on Tuesday, March 26, 2019


The French journal Annales de Démographie Historique is seeking research articles on the history of adoption in the world from the 15th to the 21st century. This special issue has the dual objective of being a milestone and contributing to the renewal of the historiography of adoptive practices in the world: from family placements and notarial adoption contracts of the 15th century to international adoption today.



In the 1980s and 1990s, following Jack Goody's publication of The Development of Family and Marriage in Europe, the history of adoptive practices in France and Western Europe was marked by real debates and historiographical advances, as shown by the various books, colloquia and journal issues of that period. J. Goody's assertion that the act of adoptive filiation – as conceived by the civil law of the Roman Empire of Antiquity – disappeared in the medieval and modern periods does not resist the new notarial sources, legal literature and charitable institutions’ archives highlighted by the historiography. Adoption in its most restrictive sense did not disappear but there was a shift toward more informal family arrangement and new laws, in particular around foster care and other forms of fosterage) Since then, historians and demographers as well as researchers from other fields of the social sciences have been turning towards the contemporary period and cultural areas outside Western Europe.

In the United States, particularly since the late 1990s, a rich historiography has emerged, first focusing on the national issues of child adoption since the 19th century, and then on the issue of international adoption in the post-1945 period. The practice of child adoption is now socially and politically mobilized around issues such as reproductive health (alternative method of reproduction for infertile men and women), child protection (public and private child protection systems), movement (persons, practices, standards), humanitarian action (aid relief method) and diplomatic action (administrative and political). This is not fundamentally so different from what has been happening elsewhere in the world over the past two decades in terms of historical and social science production (for example, in Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Australia, China, Japan or South Korea), but also in terms of the recent transnationalization of adoptive practices and the consequent global homogenization of Western standards associated with them.

Subject to particularly strong cultural, social, political, legal and demographic dimensions adoption practices have become an international subject of study. Nevertheless, although constantly being renewed, the historiography surrounding it is still in its infancy.

This special issue of the Annales de Démographie Historique thus has the dual objective of being a milestone and contributing to the renewal of the historiography of adoptive practices in the world: from family placements and notarial adoption contracts of the 15th century to international adoption today.

Research articles

The research articles submitted for the special 2021-1 edition of the Annales de Démographie Historique may focus on adoption practices in a broad sense: from foster care and related practices to formal adoptions, as much on the different forms of movement of children in a filiation logic as on the rights of children and adults involved in adoption: "simple" adoption (maintaining the adopted person's legal ties with his or her parents) and "complete" or "full" adoption (severing the adopted person's legal ties with his or her parents). Articles may cover any place, city, region, colony, country or continent, and any period from the 15th to the 21st century, whether from a local, national or transnational perspective. Articles on regions outside Western Europe and comparative articles are particularly welcome. From a methodological point of view, the articles may be based on qualitative as well as quantitative methods. The data may concern individuals, associations or other organizations, States, non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, etc.

Annales de Démographie Historique

Founded in 1964 by the “Société de Démographie Historique”, the journal publishes international research on population and family history, mobility and health in French and in English. It takes into account cultural and national diversities. More on the journal here: http://www.societededemographiehistorique.fr/la-socieacuteteacute-de-deacutemographie-historique.html

Submission deadline

Proposals, in English or French, will include a 500 to 1000 word abstract and a short biography.

They must be submitted by May 13, 2019

by email to the editors of the "History of adoption" special issue (contacts below).

The selection committee's responses will be sent in June 2019.

The selected articles must be submitted until February 17, 2020, before being submitted to the journal for review.

The issue is scheduled for release in the spring of 2021.


  • Fabio Macedo (fmacedobrasil@gmail.com)
  • Jean-François Mignot (jean-francois.mignot@cnrs.fr)
  • Isabelle Robin (robin.izabelle@orange.fr)


  • Paris, France (75)


  • Monday, May 13, 2019


  • famille, adoption


  • Isabelle Robin
    courriel : robin [dot] izabelle [at] orange [dot] fr
  • Fabio Macedo
    courriel : fabio [dot] macedo [at] univ-angers [dot] fr
  • Jean-François Mignot
    courriel : jean-francois [dot] mignot [at] cnrs [dot] fr

Information source

  • Fabio Macedo
    courriel : fabio [dot] macedo [at] univ-angers [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« History of adoption », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, https://doi.org/10.58079/12b6

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