Strangers And Kin / Edition 1

Strangers And Kin / Edition 1

by Barbara Melosh
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674019539

ISBN-13: 9780674019539

Pub. Date: 02/01/2006

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Strangers and Kin is the history of adoption, a quintessentially American institution in its buoyant optimism, generous spirit, and confidence in social engineering. An adoptive mother herself, Barbara Melosh tells the story of how married couples without children sought to care for and nurture other people's children as their own. It says much about the

Overview

Strangers and Kin is the history of adoption, a quintessentially American institution in its buoyant optimism, generous spirit, and confidence in social engineering. An adoptive mother herself, Barbara Melosh tells the story of how married couples without children sought to care for and nurture other people's children as their own. It says much about the American experience of family across the twentieth century and our shifting notions of kinship and assimilation. Above all, it speaks of real people striving to make families out of strangers.

In the early twentieth century, childless adults confronted orphanages reluctant to entrust their wards to the kindness of strangers. By the 1930s, however, the recently formed profession of social work claimed a new expertise--the science and art of child placement--and adoption became codified in law. It flourished in the United States, reflecting our ethnic diversity, pluralist ideals, and pragmatic approach to family. Then, in the 1960s, as the sexual revolution reshaped marriage, motherhood, and women's work, adoption became a less attractive option and the number of adoptive families precipitously declined. Taking this history into the early twenty-first century, Melosh offers unflinching insight to the contemporary debates that swirl around adoption: the challenges to adoption secrecy; the ethics and geopolitics of international adoption; and the conflicts over transracial adoption.

This gripping history is told through poignant stories of individuals, garnered from case records long inaccessible to others, and captures the profound losses and joys that make adoption a lifelong process.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674019539
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
02/01/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
0.76(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1. Wanted—A Child To Raise as Our Own: Claiming Strangers as Kin

2. Families by Design: "Fitness" and "Fit" in the Creation of Kin

3. The "Best Solution": Adoption Embraced

4. Redrawing the Boundaries: Transracial and International Adoption

5. "Tell It Slant": Adoption and Disclosure

6. Adoption Challenged: Beyond the Best Solution

Epilogue

Notes

Index

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