Children and Youth in Adoption, Orphanages, and Foster Care: A Historical Handbook and Guide

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Overview

Adoption and foster care is a new and burgeoning area of historical and interdisciplinary research. Too often, however, birth parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, social workers, and the children themselves have either been ignored or demonized. This comprehensive introductory resource provides an authoritative, yet accessible, examination of adoption and foster care as it has been practiced in the United States.

Within the pages of this volume, the reader will find a complete view of the many individuals and groups involved, as well as a thorough understanding of the various social and economic forces that have contributed to the perceptions of what children are in need of care. Also discussed is the role of orphanages, once the primary institution for children without parents as well as a stopgap measure for poor children needing temporary care. Divided into three major sections, original essays review the practice of adoption, orphanage placement and foster care from the colonial period to the present day. Selected primary documents, including materials by children, as well as an in-depth bibliographic section, provide crucial information and insight for high school and college students. Social workers, journalists, and others will also find much value in this historical overview and guide. Contributors include Elizabeth Bartholet, Marilyn Irvin Holt, Martha Satz, and Claudia Nelson.

Adoption and foster care is a new and burgeoning area of historical and interdisciplinary research. Too often, however, birth parents, adoptive parents and foster parents, social workers, and the children themselves have been either ignored or demonized. This authoritative and accessible work is the first comprehensive introductory resource that gives a fuller portrait of the many individuals and groups that have contributed to the perceptions of what children are in need of care. Also discussed is the role of orphanages, the primary institution for children without parents as well as a stopgap measure for poor children needing temporary care. Divided into three sections, original essays review the practice of adoption, orphanage placement, and foster care from the colonial period to the present day. Selected primary documents, including materials by children, as well as an in-depth bibliography section, provide crucial information and insight for high school and college students. Social workers, journalists, and others will also find much value in this historical overview and guide. Star contributors include Elizabeth Bartholet, Marilyn Irvin Holt, Martha Satz, and Claudia Nelson.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Few people understand better than adoptees and historians that unobstructed access to the documentary record is an elemental ingredient of narrative truth. In fact, few controversies make it clearer than the debate over sealed records that history itself, both personal and social, is at stake for us all….This collection offers tangible evidence that the history of adoption is gaining traction as a research field with considerable appeal to scholars, teachers, and general audiences alike….[a] valuable contribution to the historical literature, and it will help us to imagine and interpret the diversity of past kinship with greater accuracy, empathy, and creativity. The fact that adoption history can be such a fresh and original focus of historical inquiry early in the twenty-first century suggests that the right revolution of the post-1945 era is enduring and continues to profoundly alter the geography of the past."

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Adoption Quarterly

"[A]skeland has done an admirable job of giving depth and scope to this complex and all-too-often neglected aspect of American childhood. Highly recommended. Collections with a focus on family studies, legal studies, social work, and teacher education, serving lower-level undergraduates and above; public libraries."

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Choice

"The main value of this book is the synthesis of a great deal of information available in other sources into historical periods and topical categories. The book will probably be of most interest to child welfare practitioners, prospective foster and adoptive parents, and undergraduates who know little about the history of orphanages, foster care and adoption."

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Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313331831
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2005
  • Series: Children and Youth: History and Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 950,060
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

LORI ASKELAND is Associate Professor, Department of English, Wittenberg University, Ohio. She is the author of numerous articles on adoption and foster care, children and literature; encyclopedia articles on childhood, family, and marriage; and the editor of several books.

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Table of Contents

Series Forward by Miriam Forman-Brunell

Acknowledgements & Dedication

Part I Essays

Informal Adoption, Apprentices, and Indentured Children in the Colonial Era and the New Republic, 1605-1850 by Lori Askeland

Adoption Reform, Orphan Trains, and Child-saving, 1851-1929 by Marilyn Irvin Holt

Science, Social Work, and Bureaucracy: Cautious Developments in Adoption and Foster Care, 1930-1969 by Dianne Creagh

Civil Rights, Adoption Rights: Domestic Adoption and Foster Care, 1970 to the Present by Martha Satz and Lori Askeland

International Adoption by Elizabeth Bartholet

The Orphan in American Children's Literature by Claudia Nelson

Part II Documents

Multicultural Forms of Adoption and Foster Care Before 1850

"Orphan Trains," Child Saving and the Modernization of Adoption Law, 1851-1929

Science and Secrecy: Adoption, Orphanages, and Foster Care, 1930-1969

Comtemporary Issues in Domestic Adoption, 1970- Present

International Adoption Law

Orphans in Literature for American Children

Part III Bibliography

General Adoption and Child Welfare History References and Online Resources

Orphans, Orphanages, and Orphan Stories: Early Forms of Adoption and Fostering in Multicultural and Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Secrecy and Adoption: Infertility, Illegitimacy, Parental Fitness Tests, and the Move to Openess in the 20th Century

Crossing Boundaries: Issues and Controversies in Comtemporary Foster Care and Adoption

Index

Contributors

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