notes to introduction
1. For the text of this convention, see Hague Conference on Private International
2. In demographic terminology, ‘‘lowest low’’ refers to countries with total fertility
rates below 1.3, which are predicted to experience a 50 percent reduction in the
population in less than 45 years. It was first identified as a phenomenon in
Western European countries in the 1990s (Kohler, Billari, and Ortega 2002),
and since the 2000s, it has come to characterize East Asian fertility patterns,
especially in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.
3. The policies implemented in January 2007 succeeded in reducing international
adoptions dramatically that year. The number of adoptees sent to the United
States, which receives the majority of children from Korea, shrank by 30 per-
cent. In 2009 American agencies also slowed Korean placements by restrict-
ing their programs to ‘‘Korean heritage’’ families and those who had already
adopted internationally. An exception to this was made for adoptions of ‘‘wait-
ing children’’—that is, noninfant children and those with correctable medical
conditions or more severe disabilities.
4. An ‘‘eligible orphan’’ is a child who has lost both parents to death, abandon-
ment, or separation, or who has lost one parent to death, abandonment, or
separation, with the remaining parent legally releasing the child for overseas
emigration and adoption.
5. Plenary adoption (adoption plenière) terminates the original parent-child rela-
tionship, and in France this form is contrasted with ‘‘simple adoption’’ (adoption
simple), which is additive—that is, it retains the validity of the original parent-
child relationship and also recognizes the new adoptive relation with respect to
inheritance rights and parental authority. Both forms can be distinguished from
‘‘open adoptions’’ (as they are practiced in the United States), in which birth
parents and adoptive parents agree to maintain varying degrees of contact for
the benefit of the adopted child, but no legally binding contracts are involved.
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