Unequal Motherhoods and the Adoption of Asian Children: Birth, Foster, and Adoptive Mothers.
x, 159 p.
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This book explores the adoption of Asian children by white Americans. It is based on interviews with 43 adoptive mothers and adoption social workers, a review of 191 letters and essays written by South Korean birth mothers who put their child up for adoption, and fieldwork at an adoption agency in South Korea. It also includes analyses and explanations of U.S. and South Korean governments’ social characteristics and policies regarding adoptions and how relations between nations have affected international adoption. The book focuses on whether the commonly held notion that adoptions are to serve children’s welfare and their best interests has tended to render gendered aspects of international adoptions invisible. Factors such as gender inequality, social control of women’s reproductive power, patriarchal family structure, and social beliefs concerning womanhood and motherhood that affect international adoptions are considered. The multiple ways in which adoptive, birth, and foster mothers experience gender oppression from their different social positions of class, race, and nationality are also explored, and the interdependencies and inequalities of the motherhoods of these three groups of women are highlighted. Numerous references. (Author abstract modified)
South Korea; Intercountry adoption; Asian Americans; BIRTH MOTHERS; CONSENT TO ADOPTION; MOTHER CHILD RELATIONSHIPS; FEMINISM; EMPOWERMENT; SEX DISCRIMINATION; WOMENS ADVOCACY; societal attitudes