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Now, I'm not saying that this imagined situation parallels our current adoption practices in every way (though surely, you will notice some similarities). The point I am making is simply this: adoption is a cultural institution. It exists within the context of a particular society and set of societal beliefs. To someone who held a radically different set of cultural beliefs, the practice of adoption might seem completely bizarre. The concept of adoption is not itself holy and untouchable. We can and should look at it critically. We can and should ask what it says about our society that we embrace it. What are the beliefs on which the institution stands? Are they valid?