Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History by Peter Conn (auth.)

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By Peter Conn (auth.)

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Htm  William Shakespeare, King Lear, I, ii, pp. 1–24.  A. C. Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, 2nd edn (London: Macmillan, 1922 [1905]), p. 266.  The Oxford English Dictionary traces this use of “natural” back to the late fourteenth century.  Susan Moller Okin, Justice, Gender, and the Family, p. 298.  Ruth Benedict, Patterns of Culture (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934), p. 374.  David Schneider, American Kinship, p. 116. ” Anthony Good, “Kinship,” in Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology (New York: Routledge, 1996), p.

64 Imperial and ecclesiastical authorities collaborated in suppressing adoption. In the sixth century, Justinian’s Institutes, about one quarter of which dealt with questions of succession and inheritance, had made adoption more difficult. 65 However, while these laws might have reduced somewhat the number of adoptions, they would not have eliminated the practice. How and why did adoption disappear? ”66 Adoption, never explicitly forbidden, was vociferously discouraged, in terms that emphasized God’s disapproval of the practice.

It founded no obligation or bond on either side. 36 In addition, a newborn was not a member of the family until the child was “chosen” by the father. 38 Perhaps the most famous case of Roman adoption followed from Julius Caesar’s decision to name Octavian as his heir in his will. After Caesar’s assassination in 44 BCE, Octavian was renamed Gaius Julius Caesar, and is known to history as “Augustus,” the honorific that was awarded by the Roman Senate in 27 BCE. He reigned as Rome’s first emperor for nearly forty-one years, providing exactly the stability that Julius Caesar had intended in adopting him.

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