Creating Fictitious Family Memories: The Closed Stranger Adoption of Māori Children into White Families
Between 1955 and 1985 approximately 45,000 closed stranger adoptions took place in Aotearoa New Zealand. Many of these adoptions involved children of Māori ancestry, who were placed into white families, where links to their whakapapa were severed and a space for fictitious narratives (including memories) was created. This article reveals some adoption fictions experienced in the lives of six Māori people who were adopted into Pākehā families. Using a Māori-centred research approach, it found that there were common fictions that Māori adopted people navigated, through counter-narratives and narratives of repair, in their quest to create their own identity.
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