Publication details [#64153]

Fiorentino, Alice. 2018. The complementary nature of linguistic mediation in transnational adoption mobility. Language Problems and Language Planning 42 (3) : 328–343.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


In order to explore why people in multilingual contexts choose one mediation strategy or another, this research 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.