Children and adolescents adopted internationally experience not only a passage from one kinship relation to another, but also from one country, one culture to another. To make sense of what is in play in the here-and-now of family interaction, we must view it from multiple angles, relying on a transcultural approach to treat the issue of the child’s otherness in all its complexity. This reading is carried out along several axes : the transgenerational history of the parent or parents, the child’s history and the consequences of his or her living conditions prior to the adoption, the adopted child’s multiple loyalties and sympathies, and the family’s representation of the child’s otherness. Only such a mixture of readings can re-establish a psychical truth that comes close to the child’s history, with no discontinuity between the before and after, and offer an approach to coexistence of diverse affiliations in the child adopted abroad without this threatening the parent-child bond.
Adolescence, 2013, T. 31, n°3, pp. 521-530.