Reframing Transracial Adoption: Adopted Koreans, White Parents, and the Politics of Kinship

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Work on 2012-06-02 02:12Z by Steven

Reframing Transracial Adoption: Adopted Koreans, White Parents, and the Politics of Kinship

Temple University Press
May 2012
230 pages
6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 978-1-43990-184-7
Cloth ISBN: 978-1-43990-183-0
eBook ISBN: 978-1-43990-185-4

Kristi Brian, Lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies and Anthropology and Director of Diversity Education and Training
College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina

Until the late twentieth century, the majority of foreign-born children adopted in the United States came from Korea. In the absorbing book Reframing Transracial Adoption, Kristi Brian investigates the power dynamics at work between the white families, the Korean adoptees, and the unknown birth mothers. Brian conducts interviews with adult adopted Koreans, adoptive parents, and adoption agency facilitators in the United States to explore the conflicting interpretations of race, culture, multiculturalism, and family.

Brian argues for broad changes as she critiques the so-called “colorblind” adoption policy in the United States. Analyzing the process of kinship formation, the racial aspects of these adoptions, and the experience of adoptees, she reveals the stifling impact of dominant nuclear-family ideologies and the crowded intersections of competing racial discourses.

Brian finds a resolution in the efforts of adult adoptees to form coherent identities and launch powerful adoption reform movements.


  • Preface: The Personal and the Political
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Adoption Matters: Beyond Catastrophe and Spectacle
  • 2. Adoption Facilitators and the Marketing of Family Building: “Expert” Systems Meet Spurious Culture
  • 3. Navigating Racism: Avoiding and Confronting “Difference” in Families
  • 4. Navigating Kinship: Searching for Family beyond and within “the Doctrine of Genealogical Unity”
  • 5. Strategic Interruptions versus Possessive Investment: Transnational Adoption in the Era of New Racism
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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