institutions and the critical role the French state had to play in that reform. With the added attention to these issues thanks to the fire, associations pressed for a greater recognition of disabled children's rights by framing the situation as preventable in
Les Enfants Perdus
Asylum Reform, Parents’ Groups, and Disability Rights in France, 1968–1975
In Their Best Interests
Diplomacy, Ethics, and Competition in the French World of Adoption
The international circulation of children requires a multiplicity of interventions. Adoptive flows must respect the ethical standards defined by the Hague Convention (1993) and be realized in the context of a drastic contraction of the migration of children for adoptive purposes. For a dozen years, the French government has been following a partially contradictory double imperative: the moral respect of universal principles enacted by international treaties, and the political maintenance of France among the adoptive “great nations” that are able to favor its nationals. Based on a multi-site field study, this contribution aims to shed light on the architecture, discourse, and actions of these “adoptive public agents.” Drawing on interviews and observations conducted in France and abroad, this article describes how bureaucrats act in practice to create French adoptive families, at the blurred and troubled intersection between the promotion of universal children's rights and the favoring of French national interests.