Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America / Edition 1by Sandra Patton, Sondra Solovay, Marilyn Wann
Pub. Date: 11/01/2000
Publisher: New York University Press
Can White parents teach their Black children African American culture and history? Can they impart to them the survival skills necessary to survive in the racially stratified United States? Concerns over racial identity have been at the center of controversies over transracial adoption since the 1970s, as questions continually arise about whether White parents are
Can White parents teach their Black children African American culture and history? Can they impart to them the survival skills necessary to survive in the racially stratified United States? Concerns over racial identity have been at the center of controversies over transracial adoption since the 1970s, as questions continually arise about whether White parents are capable of instilling a positive sense of African American identity in their Black children.
"[An] empathetic study of meanings of cross-racial adoption to adoptees"
Law and Politics Book Review, Vol. 11, No. 11, Nov. 2001
Through in-depth interviews with adult transracial adoptees, as well as with social workers in adoption agencies, Sandra Patton, herself an adoptee, explores the social construction of race, identity, gender, and family and the ways in which these interact with public policy about adoption. Patton offers a compelling overview of the issues at stake in transracial adoption. She discusses recent changes in adoption and social welfare policy which prohibit consideration of race in the placement of children, as well as public policy definitions of "bad mothers" which can foster coerced aspects of adoption, to show how the lives of transracial adoptees have been shaped by the policies of the U.S. child welfare system.
Neither an argument for nor against the practice of transracial adoption, BirthMarks seeks to counter the dominant public view of this practice as a panacea to the so-called "epidemic" of illegitimacy and the misfortune of infertility among the middle class with a more nuanced view that gives voice to those directly involved, shedding light on the ways in which Black and multiracial adoptees articulate their own identity experiences.
- New York University Press
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 9.00(d)
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The voices of the adoptees in this book are incredibly powerful. Not only did the book open my eyes about the experiences of transracial adoptees, but it put them in a larger context of race relations and politics in the U.S. It's also beautifully written. Everyone involved with adoption and anyone interested in race, family, and identity in America should read this wonderful book.
This book is not at all how it is described. The description makes it sound as if the book is an unbiased study of translation adoptions. It is not at all an educated study even though it drags on like a research paper. The author has a very clear option of the history of transracial adoption. All interviews are cropped to support her opinion. Transracial adoptees who were fine with their placement are labeled and attacked. I was hoping this book would give me a very clear unbiased view from society and adoptees about their experiences, but unfortunately this is not it.