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Adoption in America
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Includes research on adoption documents rarely open to historians . . . an important addition to the literature on adoption. Highly Recommended. ---Choice "Sheds new light on the roots of this complex and fascinating institution." ---Library Journal "Well-written and accessible . . . showcases the wide-ranging scholarship underway on the history of adoption." ---Adoptive Families "[T]his volume is a significant contribution to the literature and can serve as a catalyst for further research." ---Social Service Review Adoption affects an estimated 60 percent of Americans, but despite its pervasiveness, this social institution has been little examined and poorly understood. Adoption in America gathers essays on the history of adoptions and orphanages in the United States. Offering provocative interpretations of a variety of issues, including antebellum adoption and orphanages; changing conceptions of adoption in late-nineteenth-century novels; Progressive Era reform and adoptive mothers; the politics of "matching" adoptive parents with children; the radical effect of World War II on adoption practices; religion and the reform of adoption; and the construction of birth mother and adoptee identities, the essays in Adoption in America will be debated for many years to come.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Introduction: A Historical Overview of American Adoption
  2. pp. 1-26
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  1. A Good Home: Indenture and Adoption in Nineteenth-Century Orphanages
  2. pp. 27-50
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  1. Building a Nation, Building a Family: Adoption in Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Literature
  2. pp. 51-81
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  1. What’s Love Got to Do with It?: “Adoption” in Victorian and Edwardian England
  2. pp. 82-100
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  1. A Historical Comparison of Catholic and Jewish Adoption Practices in Chicago, 1833–1933
  2. pp. 101-123
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  1. Rescue a Child and Save the Nation: The Social Construction of Adoption in the Delineator, 1907–1911
  2. pp. 124-139
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  1. A Nation’s Need for Adoption and Competing Realities: The Washington Children’s Home Society, 1895–1915
  2. pp. 140-159
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  1. Adoption Agencies and the Search for the Ideal Family, 1918–1965
  2. pp. 160-180
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  1. When in Doubt, Count: World War II as a Watershed in the History of Adoption
  2. pp. 181-217
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  1. Adoption Stories: Autobiographical Narrative and the Politics of Identity
  2. pp. 218-245
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 247-248
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 249-257
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