Edited by Anthony Pym
[Language Problems and Language Planning 42:3] 2018
► pp. 328–343
The complementary nature of linguistic mediation in transnational adoption mobility
In order to explore why people in multilingual contexts choose one mediation strategy or another, we conducted case studies involving short-term mobility for adoption purposes. For parents who adopt a child born in a different country, the experience necessitates a range of linguistic strategies that include language learning, interpreting and translation services, lingua francas, and intercomprehension. A study of ten Italian transnational adoptive families shows that adoptive parents tend to combine these strategies according to the situational relevance of four mobility-related variables: parental agency, accuracy of information, self-reliance, and intimacy. The adoptive parents’ opinions about the benefits and limitations of each strategy indicate that mediation strategies are complementary means to reach the complex general purpose of acquiring parenthood.