The Difference Difference Makes

in Kinship by Design

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226327594
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226328072 | DOI:
The Difference Difference Makes

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  • History of the Americas


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What were the adoption histories of children who faced discrimination and exclusion from placement on the basis of race? When and why did white Americans deliberately begin to violate matching by incorporating mixed-race children, minority children, and children born in foreign countries into their families? This chapter begins to answer these questions. It describes efforts to locate adoptive homes for children born into minority communities, continues the story of transracial and transnational adoptions after 1945, and suggests that by the mid-1960s, a new strategy for achieving authenticity had emerged. Denying difference gave way to acknowledging it. This shift was especially controversial in the case of race, where matching continued to seem logical, natural, and absolutely necessary to many parents and professionals. Realness never lost its power as a goal for adoption, but the rules for getting there started to change.

Keywords: adoption history; discrimination; white Americans; mixed-race children; race; matching

Chapter.  9823 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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