Gay Adoption, Gender, and the Pitfalls of French Identity
Bruno Perreau – ARC-GS Lecture – December 14, 2012
Dr. Bruno Perreau
Assistant Professor of French Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
In France, the process for authorizing an adoption is understood as a “moment of truth,” in which administrative categories and social identities confront each other. Gender is a crucial register in this encounter, and the decision to accept or reject an application (by a single man, a woman past menopause, a homosexual person, a married couple, etc.) is the occasion for some important work on defining what constitutes a legitimate family. Bruno Perreau will question the imaginary of French identity in the wake of new cultures of gender: he will ask how gay adoption reshapes the institution of adoption, not only as a legal system, but also as a metaphor of national belonging.