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The adoption of children and the use of assisted reproduction: interconnections and displacements

Martha Ramírez-Gálvez

The goal of this article is to start a dialogue between two studies : one on assisted reproductive technology (ART) and the other on adoption in Brazil. I will explore the analysis strategies and potential transfer and interaction between these two fields in a context of growth and expansion of the use of ART in Brazil. Using elements from these studies, I will analyze the underlying logic in each of these fields, including the options currently available, the option to choose the desired characteristics of a child, and the symbolic aspect of the experiences of pregnancy or meeting the adopted child. Although the expected end result of each of these processes is the same, namely to have a child, trying ART seems to precede the decision to adopt. The experience of certain infertile Brazilian couples who want children indicates the valorization of ART as part of the process of their qualification for adoption. Their attempts appear to have a ritual, symbolic function of mourning the idea of a biological child, which helps them to affirm the decision to adopt a child who has no genetic link to them.