Kristen Cheney

Kristen Cheney is Senior Lecturer of Children and Youth Studies for the International Institute of Social Studies, a graduate development studies institute in The Hague, Netherlands. From 2007-13, Dr. Cheney served as co-founder and advisory board chair for the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology of Children & Youth Interest Group. She is currently on the editorial board of the journal Childhood, a member of the CABA Working Group Netherlands, and ISS representative to the European Network of Masters in Children’s Rights (ENMCR) and Share-Net NL (Netherlands Network on Sexual and Reproductive Health and AIDS).

Dr. Cheney’s first book, Pillars of the Nation: Child Citizens and Ugandan National Development (2007, The University of Chicago Press), looks broadly at the social intersections of childhood and nationhood in international development, while her Fulbright-funded ethnographic research with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) examines issues of social exclusion, policy, and protection for children affected by HIV/AIDS. The resulting manuscript, Crying for Our Elders: African Orphanhood in the Age of HIV/AIDS, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.  

Her most recent research concerns the political economy of intercountry adoption, childcare institutions, and surrogacy, and their relation to international development strategies. She is thrilled to be hosting the International Forum on Intercountry Adoption and Global Surrogacy, and she looks forward to participating in dialogue around these issues. 



‘Giving Children a Better Life?’ Reconsidering Social Reproduction, Humanitarianism and Development in Intercountry Adoption