Uprooted Childhoods: Practices of Transnational Child Displacements (Belgium, 1945-1980). 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2020


In the course of the 20th century, violent conflicts, ethnic struggle and humanitarian crises caused an extensive number of children being transferred from one country to another. Philanthropic and nationalist objectives, the children's 'best interests', but also a growing 'demand' from childless couples lay at the basis of these displacements. This project aims to investigate how post-war cases of transnational child displacements were organized in Belgium against the backdrop of international evolutions on thinking about childhood. It will study (from a transnational and postcolonial perspective) the consecutive waves of children who were relocated to Belgium. As such, the project will launch research on the history of transnational adoption and foster care, while at the same time it will improve our understanding of the ideologies of childhood and family, as well as nation and ethnic identity, in post-war Belgium.


Research team(s)

Project type(s)

  • Research Project