By Sandra Patton
Can White mom and dad educate their Black childrens African American tradition and historical past? Can they convey to them the survival abilities essential to live to tell the tale within the racially stratified usa? issues over racial identification were on the heart of controversies over transracial adoption because the Seventies, as questions regularly come up approximately no matter if White mom and dad are able to instilling a favorable feel of African American identification of their Black children.
"[An] empathetic examine of meanings of cross-racial adoption to adoptees"
—Law and Politics ebook evaluate, Vol. eleven, No. eleven, Nov. 2001
Through in-depth interviews with grownup transracial adoptees, in addition to with social employees in adoption firms, Sandra Patton, herself an adoptee, explores the social building of race, identification, gender, and relatives and the ways that those engage with public coverage approximately adoption. Patton deals a compelling evaluation of the problems at stake in transracial adoption. She discusses fresh adjustments 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 could foster coerced elements of adoption, to teach how the lives of transracial adoptees were formed by means of the regulations 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 custom as a panacea to the so-called "epidemic" of illegitimacy and the misfortune of infertility one of the heart type with a extra nuanced view that offers voice to these without delay concerned, laying off mild at the ways that Black and multiracial adoptees articulate their very own id experiences.
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Extra info for Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America
With her tan skin, long, curly, and somewhat frizzy dark brown hair, and brown eyes she could be identiﬁed with var ious racial-ethnic groups. She grew up in a nearly all-White agricultural town in central California where there were very few African American families and a small population of Mexican migrant workers. She always looked different from everyone else she knew, and was often teased about her difference. The only racial-ethnic category other kids were able to afﬁliate her with was Mexican, and in that town at that time, this was not a positive association.
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.
The description of these two possible fathers demonstrates the power of language in enforcing racial categories. Each man was unproblemati cally considered Black or White, and once this had been established the categories were maintained through the adjectives chosen to describe the two men, who looked alike. ” In a society structured by a different racial order these two men might have been be considered members of the same race, but in the United States the “one drop rule” is still largely enforced, both socially and juridically.
Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America by Sandra Patton
Categories: African American Studies