Adoptive maternal bodies: A queer paradigm for rethinking mothering?

Hypatia 21 (1):201-226 (2006)
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Abstract

: A pronatalist perspective on maternal bodies renders the adoptive maternal body queer. In this essay, I argue that the queerness of the adoptive maternal body makes it a useful epistemic standpoint from which to critique dominant views of mothering. In particular, exploring motherhood through the lens of adoption reveals the discursive mediation and social regulation of all maternal bodies, as well as the normalizing assumptions of heteronormativity, "reprosexuality," and family homogeneity that frame a traditional view of the biological family. As participants in motherhood who resist "repro-narrativity," " reprosexuality," and essentialism, adoptive maternal bodies have the potential to both queer our notions of normal mothering and normalize our notions of queer mothering

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Shelley M. Park
University of Central Florida