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Selling Transracial Adoption: Families, Markets, and the Color Line (Paperback)


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While focused on serving children and families, the adoption industry must also generate sufficient revenue to cover an agency’s operating costs. With its fee-for-service model, Elizabeth Raleigh asks, How does private adoption operate as a marketplace? Her eye-opening book, Selling Transracial Adoption, provides a fine-grained analysis of the business decisions in the adoption industry and what it teaches us about notions of kinship and race. 

Adoption providers, Raleigh declares, are often tasked with pitching the idea of transracial adoption to their mostly white clientele. But not all children are equally “desirable,” and transracial adoption—a market calculation—is hardly colorblind. Selling Transracial Adoption explicitly focuses on adoption providers andemploys candid interviews with adoption workers, social workers, attorneys, and counselors, as well as observations from adoption conferences and information sessions, toillustrate how agencies institute a racial hierarchy—especially when the supply of young and healthy infants is on the decline. Ultimately, Raleigh discovers that the racialized practices in private adoption serve as a powerful reflection of race in America.

About the Author

Elizabeth Raleigh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Praise For…

"Elizabeth Raleigh boldly dares to address adoption’s proverbial elephant in the room in her powerful and enlightening book, Selling Transracial Adoption.... The organization of the material, the explicit detailing of the objectives, and the rich content make a compelling case for her arguments in each chapter and the book overall.... In a sea of books on transracial adoption from psychological, counseling, and social work perspectives, this sociological contribution is much needed and appreciated."--Contemporary Sociology
Product Details
ISBN: 9781439914786
ISBN-10: 1439914788
Publisher: Temple University Press
Publication Date: December 15th, 2017
Pages: 274
Language: English