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Blue-Ribbon Babies and Labors of Love

Race, Class, and Gender in U.S. Adoption Practice

By Christine Ward Gailey

Publication Year: 2010

An examination of race, class, and gender issues surrounding kinship and family formation in America, seen through the lens of adoption.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix-xi

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One. Profiling Adoption in the United States Today

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pp. 1-17

Race, class, and gender issues permeate and shape adoption in the United States. Adoption has always concerned race, from the first efforts by white settlers to adopt Native American children to the ongoing controversy surrounding interracial placement of children. It has an abiding location within...

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Two. "Kids Need Families to Turn Out Right": Public Agency Adopters

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pp. 18-30

There has long been a socioeconomic divide between those who adopt children from foster care and those who adopt privately or through private agencies. For decades, most foster parents have come from the working and lower-middle classes (see Mandell, 1973: 43). Public agencies did not actively...

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Three. Transracial Adoption in Practice

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pp. 31-55

Institutional and attitudinal forms of race, class, and gender discrimination have shaped adoption in numerous ways: in the necessity for adoption in the first place, in the state’s regulation of adoption and fosterage, in the categorization of children and parents, and in matching children with parents. Most researchers concur on these points, but...

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Four. Making Kinship in the Wake of History: Older Child Adoption

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pp. 56-78

Older child adoption1 in the United States today is a story of forming kinship bonds in the aftermath of personal and community-based trauma,2 specifically, violence that has simultaneous gender, race, and class dimensions. Adoptive parents and children struggle daily with a set of intersecting ideologies of child development, personality, and kinship that make...

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Five. The Global Search for "Blue-Ribbon Babies": International Adoption

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pp. 80-116

In 1992, international adoption1 represented only 5 percent of all adoptions in the United States, far less than domestic adoptions through public or private agencies. By 2001, that percentage had tripled, a level it continues to maintain until today. As with domestic transracial adoption, the dramatic increase can be traced in part to the adoption...

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Six. Inclusive, Exclusive, and Contractual Families: What Adoption Can Tell Us about Kinship Today

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pp. 117-152

The adopters in this study varied widely in how closely they adhered to dominant cultural “kinscripts” regarding what family is supposed to be (see Stack and Burton, 1993). The approaches adoptive parents took to issues of their children’s origins, sense of belonging, socialization, and learning styles or perceived capacities reflected...


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pp. 153-156


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pp. 157-179


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pp. 181-185

E-ISBN-13: 9780292795143
E-ISBN-10: 0292795149
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292721272
Print-ISBN-10: 0292721277

Page Count: 199
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series