Blue-Ribbon Babies and Labors of Love: Race, Class, and Gender in U. S. Adoption Practice

Blue-Ribbon Babies and Labors of Love: Race, Class, and Gender in U. S. Adoption Practice

by Christine Ward Gailey
     
 

ISBN-10: 0292721277

ISBN-13: 9780292721272

Pub. Date: 02/01/2010

Publisher: University of Texas Press

Most Americans assume that shared genes or blood relationship provide the strongest basis for family. What can adoption tell us about this widespread belief and American kinship in general? Blue-Ribbon Babies and Labors of Love examines the ways class, gender, and race shape public and private adoption in the United States. Christine Ward Gailey analyzes the

…  See more details below

Overview

Most Americans assume that shared genes or blood relationship provide the strongest basis for family. What can adoption tell us about this widespread belief and American kinship in general? Blue-Ribbon Babies and Labors of Love examines the ways class, gender, and race shape public and private adoption in the United States. Christine Ward Gailey analyzes the controversies surrounding international, public, and transracial adoption, and how the political and economics dynamics that shape adoption policies and practices affect the lives of people in the adoption nexus: adopters, adoptees, birth parents, and agents within and across borders. Interviews with white and African American adopters, adoption social workers, and adoption lawyers, combined with her long-term participant observation in adoptive communities, inform her analysis of how adopters' beliefs parallel or diverge from the dominant assumptions about kinship and family. Gailey demonstrates that the ways adoptive parents speak about their children vary across hierarchies of race, class, and gender. She shows that adopters' notions about their children's background and early experiences, as well as their own "family values," influence child-rearing practices. Her extensive interviews with 131 adopters reveal profoundly different practices of kinship in the United States today.

Appreciating how class, race, and gender influence adoptive parents' attitudes toward their children and their children's backgrounds illuminates the ways these parents uphold, accommodate, or subvert the prevailing ideologies of kinship and family in America. Moving beyond the ideology of "blood is thicker then water," Gailey presents a new way of viewing kinship and family formation, suitable to times of rapid social and cultural change.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292721272
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
02/01/2010
Pages:
199
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Profiling Adoption in the United States Today 1

2 "Kids Need Families to Turn out Right": Public Agency Adopters 18

3 TransRacial Adoption in Practice 31

4 Making Kinship in the Wake of History: Older Child Adoption 56

5 The Global Search for "Blue-Ribbon Babies": International Adoption 79

6 Inclusive, Exclusive, and Contractual Families: What Adoption Can Tell Us about Kinship Today 117

Notes 153

References 157

Index 181

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >