Becoming mothers: Narrating adoption and making kinship in Greece

Eirini Papadaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is about the intensive narrative work and the agony of adoptive mothers on how to talk to their children about their lives before the adoption, about a story that was partly unknown, about a past that the parents haven’t lived. These anxieties reveal that this struggle with language and the creation of stories was fundamental to their own becoming as mothers. I argue that a ‘kinning process’ is sustained through the repetition of children’s biographies and that, through the narration and re‐narration, of children’s placement and the existence of the birthmothers, adoptive mothers construct relations with their children and also their maternal self.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Anthropology
Issue number1
Early online date5 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2020


  • adoption
  • kinship
  • narration
  • Greece
  • motherhood


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