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Adoptions Today: Questions and Controversy

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In Adoptions Today, Ann E. Weiss explores the issues and controversies surrounding adoption and presents a history of the subject from ancient times to the modern day. The result is a clear, unbiased picture of adoption, past and present. Among the questions the author raises: Why did public attitudes toward adoption change so dramatically in the early twentieth century? What were the reasons for the secrecy that shrouded most adoptions until only a few years ago? Why are interracial and international adoption ...
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21st Century, 09/01/2001, Library Binding, Brand New! New dust jacket.

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Overview

In Adoptions Today, Ann E. Weiss explores the issues and controversies surrounding adoption and presents a history of the subject from ancient times to the modern day. The result is a clear, unbiased picture of adoption, past and present. Among the questions the author raises: Why did public attitudes toward adoption change so dramatically in the early twentieth century? What were the reasons for the secrecy that shrouded most adoptions until only a few years ago? Why are interracial and international adoption rates growing so rapidly? What are the implications of such adoptions for parents and children? How does the adoption process work?

Adoption laws and practices in the recent past, though well intentioned, were often flawed. Changes have been made, but some issues continue to trouble adoption professionals and legislators alike. For example, most adult adoptees can obtain nonidentifying information about their birth parents. Should they also be able to obtain facts that could lead to their identifying and locating those parents? Which is more important: an adoptee's right to information or a parent's right to privacy? Should single men and women be allowed to adopt? Should homosexuals? Is it possible to raise a child of another race, religion, or nationality to feel secure -- and proud -- of his or her particular heritage? What resources are available to help interracial and international adoptive families resolve any problems that do arise? What can be done to stop such unethical practices as baby selling? Can today's adoption practices be improved? How might adoption change as we move into a new century?

In Adoptions Today, Ann E. Weiss forthrightly discusses these and other questions. Through the words and stories of actual adoptees, both children and adults, she examines the many facets of adoption's legal and ethical issues and controversies. This book will be of interest to those involved in adoption personally, through their local communities, or as members of the larger world community.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Current issues related to adoption are recounted in this informative and well-written book. The author sets the stage for this discussion by providing a history of adoption in Europe and North America and how it has evolved over the last century. Some of the topics touched upon include open adoption, international adoptions, foster care, nontraditional families, searches, and laws and regulations governing adoptions. Overall, the content is well researched and is provided in a neutral way. However, the section about "Further Reading" is a bit skimpy. Many involved in adoption both professionally and personally would object to the author's use of the term "illegitimate" to describe children born out of wedlock. In fact, there is a saying that goes—"There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents." This book covers much ground and is an excellent resource about the subject of adoption. The brown dust jacket features a birthmother, adoptive parent and adoptee looking sad or troubled. Perhaps in future editions the cover should also portray people affected by adoption in a positive way. 2001, 21st Century Books/The Millbrook Press, $24.90. Ages 14 up. Reviewer: Jeanne K. Pettenati
VOYA
In this clearly written but somewhat dry volume, Weiss does a workmanlike job of outlining the entire history of adoption both in the United States and around the world. Surprisingly, adoption as it currently exists is essentially a twentieth-century phenomenon, and Weiss devotes two chapters to how earlier societies, including the United States in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, handled the problem of children without parents. Among the institutions she discusses are indentured servitude, poorhouses, orphanages, baby farms, and the notorious orphan trains (see previous review of Warren's book). The more controversial issues in contemporary adoption that Weiss handles include the opening of previously closed adoption files so that children can find their birth parents;open adoptions, in which birth and adopting parents know each other and birth parents are allowed to play a continuing role in their children's lives;interracial and overseas adoption;attempts by birth parents to regain control of children they previously had given up for adoption;the serious organizational problems that seem to beset the entire adoption bureaucracy in the United States;single-parent adoption;and perhaps the most controversial of all related issues, adoption by gay couples. Weiss enlivens her book with case histories, describing the experiences, some unpleasant, of a variety of adoptive parents and children. Although she deals fairly with both sides of the various issues she discusses, it is clear throughout that Weiss favors the easing of all restrictions that make the adoption process harder than it needs to be. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading. VOYA CODES:3Q 2P M J (Readable withoutserious defects;For the YA with a special interest in the subject;Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Twenty-First Century, 144p, $24.90. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer:Michael Levy—VOYA, December 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761319146
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Adoption Overview 9
2 Adoptions Past 19
3 Indenture, Asylum, Adoption 36
4 Searches and Open Adoption 55
5 Nontraditional Adoptions 77
6 Questions and Controversies 100
7 Adoption Tomorrow 123
Afterword: The Adoption Process In a Nutshell 131
Source Notes 134
Further Reading 141
Index 142
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