10,000+: Database of Lebanese Adoptees

“The veneer of legality”

Daniel Drennan ElAwar

For the past decade or so I, like many of us, have been comparing paperwork concerning my adoption with that of other adoptees. Looking for clues, similarities, anything that might divulge some information as to origins as well as that original transaction and the time previous to our disinheritance. Much of what we glean is heartbreaking: The false names assigned to us which come from a list of Arabic words, dooming many of us to be “related” to each other by useless pseudonyms. Or the fact that later children were prematched, their names reflecting the chosen name from the adopting family. And later still, the mother giving birth was registered in the hospital under the name of the adopter, thus erasing two generations at a time.

These stages of adoption follow a particular trajectory of streamlining and a bureaucracy that profited literally and figuratively from the wars and other social…

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