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Somebody's Children: The Politics of Transracial and by Laura Briggs

By Laura Briggs

In Somebody's Children, Laura Briggs examines the social and cultural forces—poverty, racism, fiscal inequality, and political violence—that have formed transracial and transnational adoption within the usa through the moment 1/2 the 20 th century and the 1st decade of the twenty-first. Focusing relatively at the stories of these who've misplaced their little ones to adoption, Briggs analyzes the conditions below which African American and local moms within the usa and indigenous and negative girls in Latin the US have felt pressed to renounce their childrens for adoption or have misplaced them involuntarily.

The dramatic growth of transracial and transnational adoption because the Fifties, Briggs argues, was once the results of particular and profound political and social alterations, together with the large-scale removing of local youngsters from their mom and dad, the condemnation of unmarried African American moms within the context of the civil rights fight, and the principally invented "crack infants" scare that inaugurated the dramatic withdrawal of advantages to bad moms within the usa. In Guatemala, El Salvador, and Argentina, governments disappeared teenagers through the chilly battle after which imposed neoliberal fiscal regimes with U.S. help, making the circulate of kids throughout nationwide borders effortless and infrequently ecocnomic. Concluding with an evaluation of present-day controversies surrounding homosexual and lesbian adoptions and the struggles of immigrants scared of wasting their teenagers to foster care, Briggs demanding situations celebratory or another way simplistic debts of transracial and transnational adoption through revealing a few of their unacknowledged explanations and costs.

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Extra resources for Somebody's Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption

Sample text

If we open up the historical record, it suggests, we find that the conditions under which black and Native women in the United States and Latin American mothers lost their children into adoptions are rather more troubling and, indeed, violent than Bartholet’s and similar accounts would lead us to believe. One of its broadest goals, then, is to narrate a history of adoption that pays as much attention to the position of those who lose children in adoption as to those who receive them. My own interest in transnational and transracial adoption began in 1999, when I and my then-partner became foster parents of an eleven-yearold Mexican American girl, the child of immigrants (who may or may not have had indigenous, Yaqui-Mexican ancestry).

Some of the earliest longitudinal studies suggest something about how agencies began placing these kids and how the families in which they placed them responded. ≤≤ At the same time the data also suggest that some agencies and social workers, in their enthusiasm to promote what they undoubtedly saw as politically progressive measures, sent black and mixedrace children into what had to have been difficult situations, just as some of the children in the highly publicized school desegregation struggles went into unwelcoming schools and communities.

While 20 introduction they were universally furious at their children for the ways they had messed up their own lives and those of the grandchildren, they never said adoption was their first choice. They knew how their grandchildren never stopped missing their parents and hoped that leaving open a route to being with their children again might provide a path toward sanity and healing for their own sons and daughters. For my daughter, legal adoption was a disaster. It created a painful sense of divided loyalties, for no matter how we tried to offer her an alternative narrative, she believed (and not without reason) that adoption creates an exclusive relationship with one family that terminated all relatedness to the other family (and it certainly did not improve her relationship to adoption that only one of the two people raising her could legally adopt her).

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