By Sandra Patton
Can White mom and dad train their Black little ones African American tradition and historical past? Can they convey to them the survival abilities essential to live on within the racially stratified usa? issues over racial identification were on the heart of controversies over transracial adoption because the Nineteen Seventies, as questions consistently come up approximately even if White mom and dad are able to instilling a good experience of African American id of their Black children.
"[An] empathetic learn of meanings of cross-racial adoption to adoptees"
—Law and Politics booklet overview, Vol. eleven, No. eleven, Nov. 2001
Through in-depth interviews with grownup transracial adoptees, in addition to with social employees in adoption companies, Sandra Patton, herself an adoptee, explores the social building of race, id, gender, and relations and the ways that those engage with public coverage approximately adoption. Patton deals a compelling evaluate of the problems at stake in transracial adoption. She discusses contemporary alterations in adoption and social welfare coverage which limit attention of race within the placement of youngsters, in addition to public coverage definitions of "bad moms" that can foster coerced elements of adoption, to teach how the lives of transracial adoptees were formed via the rules of the U.S. baby welfare system.
Neither an issue for nor opposed to the perform of transracial adoption, BirthMarks seeks to counter the dominant public view of this tradition as a panacea to the so-called "epidemic" of illegitimacy and the misfortune of infertility one of the center classification with a extra nuanced view that provides voice to these without delay concerned, laying off gentle at the ways that Black and multiracial adoptees articulate their very own identification experiences.
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Extra resources for Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America
Sandi: Nonidentifying information? Sam: Yeah. Sandi: I haven’t done that, but people keep talking about it, so I’m going to have to do it. Sam: Well, actually you don’t get much. I’ll show you mine. I should show you some pictures! Sandi: Yeah. Sam: I’ll show you some pictures of my family. Anyway, what they tell you is the age of the parents, the physical description, educa tion. I don’t think there was age, but I’ll look at it. And that’s it. Then of course, the place of birth or something. The two poten tial fathers actually were very similar in looks.
Interruption] Sandi: So your parents are White. Sam: My parents are White. Sandi: What about the ﬁrst adoptee? Sam: White. My parents are—my mother was German, grew up in Montana, and my father is I think German and English. So I’m half German, so they matched the German part up. And tried to fake the rest of the part. I was a county adoption. | 35 | Origin Narratives Sandi: Did your parents know when they got you that you were mixed? Sam: Well, they knew—They were lied to. They were told by the adoption agency that there was a possibility that I was half Black.
Historian Rickie Solinger’s (1992) impor tant study of out-of-wedlock pregnancy before the legalization of abor tion demonstrates that social resources for young pregnant women were largely allocated by race and class, and that these decisions were linked with those determining the life courses of their children. The social support services available to single pregnant women were completely different for White women and Black women. For young White women, the stigma of pregnancy was often hidden through their seclusion in all-White maternity homes.
Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America by Sandra Patton