Sonja Van Wichelen is a senior research fellow with the department of sociology and social policy at the University of Sydney in Australia. She is the author of Religion, Gender and Politics in Indonesia: Disputing the Muslim Body.
Van Wichelen offers a captivating and capacious framework for understanding global reproduction and modern family formation. Using ethnographic moments in international adoption as a launch point, she develops a sophisticated critique of the interrelations among humanitarianism, rights, and biomedicalization. --Sara Dorow author of Transnational Adoption: A Cultural Economy of Race, Gender, and Kinship In Legitimating Life, Sonja van Wichelen provides a comprehensive analysis of the transformation of international adoption into a technology of reproduction through the imposition of a legal 'clean break' that decouples the child from its family and community of origin so that it can become a global resource for producing 'as-if-begotten' families in Europe and North America. Legitimating Life makes a compelling case for a new politics of international adoption that opens up a landscape for 'the doing and desiring of kinship otherwise, ' even as it secures the right of every child to family life, as mandated by international law. --Barbara Yngvesson author of Belonging in an Adopted World: Race, Identity, and Transnational Adoption