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Coming to LifePhilosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering$
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Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline R. Lundquist

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823244607

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823244607.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

What's an Adoptive Mother to Do?

What's an Adoptive Mother to Do?

When Your Child's Desires Are a Problem

(p.138) 7 What's an Adoptive Mother to Do?
Coming to Life

Melissa Burchard

Fordham University Press

In this chapter I explore the problematics of mothering/parenting children who evince desires that are queer in ways, and as a result of events, that cannot be celebrated. I argue that because children who have been sexually abused are likely to develop queer (non-normative) desires, and parents of such children will need queer (transgressive) parenting practices to help children recover from or come to terms with their abuse. Using “queer” in the broadest sense of non-normative and/or transgressive desires, identities and behaviors, I offer a set of questions and reflections on the desires and parenting needs of children, like mine, for whom sex and awareness of sex was imposed on them violently and abusively. I explain the goals of child-rearing and how those goals are frustrated by experiences of childhood sexual abuse. I argue for a particular conception of wrong desire, and use Seiriol Morgan's interpretation of Kant along with Devin Henry's reading of akrasia to show how we might better respond to such desires. Finally, I raise questions about the appropriateness of norms that are operative in current conceptions of health, agency, and community.

Keywords:   queering, desire, parenting, trauma, control, akrasia, health, moral agency, sexual abuse, adoption

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