Shame, Ontological Insecurity and Intercountry Adoption

Cambridge Review of International Affairs

Author/s (editor/s):

Jeremy Youde

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
Taylor & Francis

Jeremy Youde, ‘Shame, Ontological Insecurity and Intercountry Adoption’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 27(3) 2014: 424‒41.

Romania and South Korea were once among the top sending countries for adoptive American families. In recent years, though, both have adopted significant restrictions on intercountry adoption. What leads countries to introduce such severe restrictions? This article argues that shame plays a significant, yet underappreciated, motivating factor for leading governments to change their laws on intercountry adoption. Political leaders seize on nationalist rhetoric to argue that intercountry adoption is shameful. The article explores the interaction between intercountry adoption and shame through brief case studies on Romania and South Korea. Finally, it examines the role of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) in ameliorating these feelings.

Updated:  29 January 2023/Responsible Officer:  Bell School Marketing Team/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team