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Kinship, Citizenship and Civil Status of Adopted Children

Françoise-Romaine Ouellette, Julie Saint-Pierre

This article considers the modification of the civil status of adopted children in terms of the expression of State power and the right to define individuals’ civil identity, kinship and citizenship. It highlights links between issues of filiation, citizenship, and civil status, and examines how birth certificates that are produced after a legal plenary adoption legitimize the erasure of a person’s origins. This erasure might not match with the subjective reality of adoptees, but is often contradicted by the documentation traces created in the course of international adoption. In conclusion, we discuss the possibility of a shift in the law toward a juridical approach to adoption that is no longer founded on the fiction of ‘re-birth.’