By Peter Conn (auth.)
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Additional resources for Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History
1057/9781137333919 34 Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History (as in most other ancient societies), adoption had nothing to do with the welfare of the adopted person—often an adult in any case—and everything to do with preserving a family’s name and property intact. Adult adoptees were also expected to care for the new parent in his old age, to perform funeral ceremonies, and to carry on the parent’s name and property. In a patrilineal society, parents with one or more unmarried daughters but no sons faced a particular threat.
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir? York. What then? K. Hen. And if he may, then am I lawful king; For Richard, in the view of many lords, Resign’d the crown to Henry the Fourth, Whose heir my father was, and I am his. (I, i, 135–140) Exeter objects to Henry’s claim on two counts. First, he repeats Warwick’s claim that Richard gave up his crown to Henry IV only under coercion. Exeter’s more serious rebuttal is that an adopted son cannot come between an heir and his inheritance: . . he could not so resign his crown But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, 2nd edn (London: Macmillan, 1922 ), 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.
Adoption: A Brief Social and Cultural History by Peter Conn (auth.)