Search Project MUSE®

Journal Limited To: Adoption & Culture

Image showing advertisement for ASAC conference

Adoption & Culture

Edited by Emily Hipchen, Brown University

Frequency: Semiannual

Print ISSN: 1944-4990
Electronic ISSN: 2574-2523

Winner of the 2019 Phoenix Award from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (Read the press release)          

Adoption & Culture publishes essays on any aspect of adoption’s intersection with culture, including but not limited to scholarly examinations of adoption practice, law, art, literature, ethics, science, life experiences, film, or any other popular or academic representation of adoption. Adoption & Culture accepts submissions of previously unpublished essays for review.

Adoption & Culture is the journal of The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture (facebook page), which officially formed, through a constitution established in 1998, under the name The Alliance for the Study of Adoption, Identity, and Kinship. ASAC promotes understanding of the experience, institution, and cultural representation of domestic and transnational adoption and related practices such as fostering, assisted reproduction, LGBTQ+ families, and innovative kinship formations. ASAC considers adoptive kinship to include adoptees, first families, and adoptive kin. In its conferences, other gatherings, and publications ASAC provides a forum for discussion and knowledge creation about adoption and related topics through interdisciplinary, culture-based scholarly study and creative practice that consider many ways of perceiving, interpreting, and understanding adoption.

Critical adoption studies scholarship explores multiple aspects of adoption’s intersection with culture including, but not limited to, scholarly examinations of adoption practice, law, art, literature, ethics, science, life experiences, and film. Adoption scholars examine discourses of adoption in all its various ways, complicating the ways adoption engages with normative ideologies of identity, family, culture, race, gender, nation, and citizenship.

Subscription to the journal confers membership in the Alliance. 

Project Muse Logo

Available digitally through Project Muse.


Manuscript Submissions

Adoption & Culture publishes essays on any aspect of adoption’s intersection with culture, including but not limited to scholarly examinations of adoption practice, law, art, literature, ethics, science, life experiences, film, or any other popular or academic representation of adoption. More information is available on the ASAC website.

Call for Papers, Fall 2021, Special Issue of Adoption & Culture on Foster Care

Deadline for submissions: 1 November 2021

Contact email: Lori Askeland and Krista Benson (

Title: Foster Care

Adoption & Culture 11.1 [2023]

Guest Editors: Lori Askeland, Lizbett Benge, Krista Benson & Alfred Pérez

This special issue of Adoption & Culture invites new and original works that examine various aspects of foster care or state care of youth. We especially welcome proposals from foster youth, those who have aged out of the system, incarcerated parents, and others inside or outside academia who have direct experience with foster care or state care. In line with frameworks of Critical Adoption Studies, we see foster care systems as imbued with social and political power. Proposals are encouraged to critically engage with the establishment and workings of foster care systems and/or may consider the experiences of those most directly impacted by foster care. While inevitably we expect a significant proportion of submissions will concern U.S. American-based foster care systems, we welcome relevant proposals with an international, transnational, or comparative focus. The bulk of this special issue will be comprised of formal academic scholarship from a variety of disciplinary and field-specific perspectives, with this in mind, we also value and desire interdisciplinary creative, experiential, and artistic explorations of such foster care related topics as:

  • Foster care in popular culture
  • Art and performance of foster care systems and experiences
  • healing and liberation from foster care system involvement
  • Activism in and through foster care and child welfare< systems
  • Foster care and the prison industrial complex
  • U.S. American foster care to prison pipeline
  • Children of incarcerated parents
  • U.S. American foster care as “The New Jane Crow”
  • Race, ethnicity, and foster care
  • History of U.S. foster care systems, particularly in relation to histories of slavery, forced migrations of Indigenous peoples, state-supported family separations.
  • Foster care of Indigenous youth, on or off U.S. reservations, Canadian First Nation reserves, or in other settler-colonialist states
  • LGBTQ+ children in foster care, LGBTQ+ adults as foster care providers or social workers in the system.
  • Family separation at U.S. and other borders; unaccompanied migrant children and foster care systems
  • Legal permanence from U.S. foster care through 1) reunification; 2) adoption; or 3) guardianship
  • U.S. relative foster care or kinship foster care or U.S. adoption by relatives
  • Foster parent perspectives & positions connected to the State & capitalism
  • Aging out of the foster care system
  • International, transnational, and comparative foster care systems
  • Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on foster care (e.g., U.S. federal and state laws targeting foster youth; Ma’Khia Bryant’s death; the UpEnd movement, etc.)
  • Proposal Form:

    Proposals (max 500 words) should present a detailed, albeit provisional, explanation of the piece proposed for submission.

    If the submission is an academic paper, the proposal should outline in detail an argument that responds to a clearly stated question with a logical progression of claims and perhaps a sketch of theories, references, motivations. An outline is encouraged but not required (not included in word count).

    For creative works, the proposal should outline the kind of creative work and a summary of its content.

    Peer Review Statement

     Essays submitted to Adoption & Culture undergo anonymous peer review by at least two experts in the field of critical adoption studies.   


    Editorial Board

    Lori J. Askeland, Department of English, Wittenberg University
    Karen Balcom, History and Women’s Studies, McMaster University, Canada
    Susan Bordo, English, Gender and Women’s Studies, emerita, University of Kentucky
    Cynthia Callahan, English, The Ohio State University, Mansfield
    E. Wayne Carp, History, Pacific Lutheran University
    Alice Diver, School of Law, Liverpool John Moores University
    Sara Dorow, Sociology, University of Alberta, Canada
    Kori Graves, History, University of Albany
    Silke Hackenesch, History, University of Cologne
    Susan Devan Harness, Department of Anthropology and Geography, Colorado State University
    Sally Haslanger, Philosophy and Women’s Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Emily Hipchen, English, University of West Georgia
    Ellen Herman, History, University of Oregon
    Margaret Homans, English, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University
    Tobias Hübinette, Korean Studies, Multicultural Centre, Sweden
    Frances Latchford, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, York University
    Kimberly D. McKee, Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies, Grand Valley State University
    John McLeod, English, University of Leeds
    Claudia Nelson, English, Texas A&M University
    Marianne Novy, English and Women’s Studies, University of Pittsburgh, emerita
    Kim Park Nelson, Ethnic Studies, Winona State University
    Joyce Maguire Pavao, Psychiatry, emerita, Harvard University
    Pamela Anne Quiroz, Sociology, University of Illinois at Chicago
    Mary L. Shanley, Political Science and Women’s Studies, Vassar College
    Carol Singley, English, American Studies, Women’s Studies, Rutgers University, Camden
    Rachel Rains Winslow, US History, Westmont College
    Barbara Yngvesson, Anthropology, Hampshire College

    To see the table of contents for the journal issues, visit the journal page on Project MUSE.

    Sign up to receive each new issue’s Table of Contents

    Visit ASACPubs' facebook page here.