The effect of the colonialist terms “orphan” and “adoption” on the citizenship status of indigenous Fijian adoptees within their own community

Erica Newman - AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples


This article investigates the colonialist definitions of the terms “orphan” and “adoption”, contrasting them with how the traditional practice of child circulation in Fiji cared for orphaned children. I examine whether the terms “orphan”, “adoption” or “informal adoption” are equal to (or even appropriate) when describing child circulation practices in Fiji, and whether these terms and practice have had an effect on the status of the child with these labels within their own community.