598.01 Family Creation: A Non-Judicial Perspective

This course will focus on the role of the legislative and administrative process in intercountry adoption, wherein a child born in one country becomes part of a family in another.  Intercountry adoption raises complex issues of law and policy, including those relating to the definition of family, state sovereignty, immigration and citizenship, human rights, and ethics and transparency.  Not all countries participating in intercountry adoption are subject to international treaties regarding adoption and related issues.  In nations where the treaties are in effect, implementation through the legislative and administrative process has been characterized by conflict and delay.  At the local level, regulation of intercountry adoption through oversight of adoption agencies and adoptive families, has been uneven.

This seminar aims to give students the opportunity to understand the policymaking process by closely examining what has transpired in the field of intercountry adoption in the last 15-20 years, and considering what the future may hold, both within the U.S. and abroad.  Students will be expected to explore and understand the intersection between policy, treaty, and national law, as well as the interrelationship between the legislative and administrative processes.  Because the seminar will examine not only the law within the U.S. but that in other countries, students will be able to explore the differences in culture and policy that exist nation to nation and consider how those differences affect an inherently international issue such as intercountry adoption.

Readings will draw from the United States and international sources and will include existing and proposed legislation, existing and proposed administrative regulations, treaty provisions, court decisions interpreting these sources, academic and journalistic writings, and audiovisual materials.

Spring 2019

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Reflective Writing
In-class exercise
Class participation
Kathryn Webb Bradley, Diane Kunz
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.598.01.Sp19
Email list: LAW.598.01.Sp19@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice