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The Other Children of the French Republic. The Government of Kafala by the Institutions of Adoption

Abstract : For several years now, as a result of the increasing scarcity of children in the international adoption market, orphaned children have been arriving from Algeria and Morocco for legal collection by families residing on French territory. While most Muslim countries prohibit full adoption, they do allow forms of delegation of parental authority (kafala) that enable abandoned children living in orphanages to be cared for by families. In the 1990s, the internationalization of the kafala system led to the widespread fosterage of Moroccan and Algerian children by French, Belgian, Spanish, Swiss, and even American families. However, due to the prohibitive status of adoption in Morocco and Algeria, and the fact that France is required to adhere to the regulations of those countries (a 2001 law), these children-unlike those who come from abroad in the context of international adoption-arrive in France without having either the possibility of being naturalized (2003 and 2016 laws) or adopted. This article interrogates the particular reception reserved for these children by French institutions, by analyzing the reasons for the kafala system's relative obscurity within the French field of adoption, the measures deployed by departmental councils to assess candidates for kafala, and, finally, the alternative strategies such families use to adapt to French rule.
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Contributor : Aurélie Fillod-Chabaud <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 8:46:46 AM
Last modification on : Friday, October 16, 2020 - 3:39:30 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 6:17:44 PM


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  • HAL Id : hal-02965143, version 1



Aurélie Fillod-Chabaud. The Other Children of the French Republic. The Government of Kafala by the Institutions of Adoption. French Politics, Culture & Society, Berghahn, In press. ⟨hal-02965143⟩



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