• Cambridge Scholars Publishing

    "[Second Thoughts on Capitalism and the State is a] profoundly reflective book shows a pathway forward for academics and activists alike who are stymied by the disconnect between deep critical scholarship and emancipatory social change, yet who will still not give up the good fight."

    - Professor Diane E. Davis, Harvard University

The Intercountry Adoption Debate: Dialogues Across Disciplines

Meaningful discussion about intercountry adoption (the adoption of a child from one country by a family from another country) necessitates an understanding of a complex range of issues. These issues intersect at multiple levels and processes, span geographic and political boundaries, and emerge from radically different cultural beliefs and systems. The result is a myriad of benefits and costs that are both global and deeply personal in scope.

This edited volume introduces this complexity and gives voice to the many sides of the intercountry adoption debate – for, against, and the ranges in between. Its 27 chapters feature a “who’s who” of intercountry adoption, including writings from top scholars in law, medicine and health, social work, anthropology, religion, sociology, and history, and perspectives from parents, policymakers, adoptees, and agency representatives. Adoption practitioners and professionals who live and breathe intercountry adoption on a daily basis offer first-hand experiences and viewpoints. A range of religious perspectives on intercountry adoption is also featured; an aspect that has not yet been explored in detail. Contributors hail from around the world, from both origin and receiving countries, and provide global and broad cultural perspectives on the topic.

While the primary function of this edited volume is to present the variety of research and views on intercountry adoption, this volume is also an accessible resource and introductory “handbook” for scholars and practitioners. In setting forth the current interdisciplinary, global, and complex conversation, the book offers a starting point for a new path in intercountry adoption, one where no one is excluded from the conversation, where research and study continue to flourish, and where stronger policies will emerge that protect children, birth parents, and adoptive parents.


Robert L. Ballard, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Communication at Pepperdine University. He researches adoptee identity, adoptive family identity and communication, and communication ethics. He is a Vietnamese adoptee and adoptive parent.

Naomi H. Goodno, JD, is an Associate Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law and Director of the Byrne Judicial Clerkship Institute. Her research focuses on the intersection of jurisdictional issues with social justice, particularly for children or victims of violent crimes.

Robert F. Cochran, JD, is the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law at Pepperdine University and the Founder and Director of the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics. He has written on diverse topics related to law, community, moral responsibility, and religion.

Jay A. Milbrandt, JD/MBA, is an Assistant Professor at Bethel University, Minnesota, and Senior Fellow in Global Justice with the Nootbaar Institute at Pepperdine University School of Law. His books and articles focus on the intersection of global justice, faith, and adventure.

"While the debate will likely continue as long as children are exported and imported, this is an important book for all interested in adoption and child welfare."

Mirah Riben Author of "shedding light on...The Dark Side of Adoption" (1988) and "The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry" (2008) The Huffington Post, 22.09.2015

"While the editors address the primary function of this edited volume to present the variety of research and views on intercountry adoption, this volume is also an accessible resource and introductory “handbook” for scholars and practitioners. In setting forth the current interdisciplinary, global and complex conversation, the book offers a starting point for a new path in intercountry adoption, one where no one is excluded from the conversation, where research and study continue to flourish, and where stronger policies will emerge that protect children, birth parents, and adoptive parents."

Richard Fischer Adoption Today Magazine

"I would recommend this volume to those who wish to learn more about ICA because there is much useful information and data contained within it, particularly with respect to legal and religious perspectives."

Dr Jack Demick Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard University PsycCRITIQUES, 61: 1 (2016)

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-4438-7129-X

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-7129-7

Release Date: 13th March 2015

Pages: 750

Price: £73.99

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