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Keywords:

  • Peru;
  • Andes;
  • adoption;
  • kinship;
  • family;
  • fosterage;
  • childhood

In this article, I draw from ethnographic research in Ayacucho, Peru, to describe how rural-to-urban migrants move children between houses as part of a common survival and betterment strategy in the context of social and economic inequality. Such “child circulations” produce and strengthen kinship and are an important part of local family-making efforts. My investigation of child circulation grounds a critical assessment of Peru's globalized adoption system, which implicitly denaturalizes the parenting of poor, indigenous Peruvians.