•  
  •  
 

Abstract

Adoption tends to be described as an alternative form of family, but for a mother or father, family has no restrictions. This paper looks at the ways adoption deconstructs and recreates the idea of family. Existing research across fields of study surrounding family fails to cover specific research on adoption and lacks the research that looks at the ways adoption and other alternative family forms disrupt and distort the biological family unit. The word “family” can be defined in many different ways, and is a specific and individualistic concept. However, within the cultural sphere of family, biogenic families tend to be the culturally assumed and idolized form of family in today’s culture. As an individual who is an adoptee and has grown up in what is assumed to be an alternative family dynamic, this auto-ethnographic essay focuses on looking at the ways adoption redefines family and motherhood, as well as how the binary institutions of our American society is built to maintain the biogenic family ideal.