Making Families Through Adoption provides a comprehensive look at adoption practices both in the United States and in other cultures, and a general understanding of the practices and ideology of kinship and family. The subject of adoption allows a window into discussions of what constitutes family or kin, the role of biological connectedness, oversight of parenting practices by the state, and the role of race, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic class in the building of families. While reviewing practices of and issues surrounding adoption, the authors highlight the ways these practices and discussions allow us greater insight into overall practices of kinship and family.

Adoption Across Cultures

Adoption across cultures

Adoption and fosterage are social practices, spread widely across the globe and throughout different historical periods. What is the significance of understanding adoption in different societies and historical moments? One reason to look at a variety of cultural and social systems is to understand the degree of human variation in the forms of families. In the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century, adoptions are not as shrouded in secrecy as they were even 50 years ago, yet many North Americans still assume that natural or biological parents should raise their children. In contrast, in many societies throughout the world, the nuclear family is not the ideal or even the typical configuration in which people live and interact, ...

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