Book Cover

Adoption across Race and Nation

US Histories and Legacies

Edited by Silke Hackenesch

230 pp. 6 x 9
2 illustrations
16 tables
Pub Date: November, 2022

Subjects: American Studies
Race & Ethnic Studies

Series: Formations: Adoption, Kinship, and Culture

order Hardcover $129.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1517-3
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Adoption across Race and Nation Nation is a welcome addition to a growing body of literature exploring race and transnational adoption. … A highly informative edited collection addressing the long history and lasting legacies of transnational and transracial adoptees’ displacement and (un)belonging.” —Hewan Girma, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Adoption across Race and Nation showcases how intercountry adoption rides the tensions between binaries such as rescue and self-fulfillment, guardianship and consumption, global and local, foreign and native, and right and wrong. A necessary and compelling work, it broadens the significance of adoption studies in both the past and present.” —Tiffany N. Florvil, author of Mobilizing Black Germany: Afro-German Women and the Making of a Transnational Movement

Legacies of (un)belonging have historical roots and resonate across quite different contexts of transracial and transnational adoption. In Adoption across Race and Nation activists, adoptees, and scholars across a range of fields—history, childhood studies, cultural anthropology, gender studies, social policy, and more—ask: What are the experiences of dual-heritage adoptees, and how have configurations of kinship, culture, and identity shaped their lives? How have transnationally and transracially adopted children approached their Americanness, their American whiteness, their American Blackness, their Asian Americanness? How do “border crises” turn “adoptable children” into revenue streams for countries, exposing the vulnerability of immigrant families of color? Offering case studies of post–World War II and Cold War adoptions of Black German and Black Korean children, Adoption across Race and Nation probes the intersections of race and nation as well as immigration and citizenship. It thus demonstrates that in the past as well as today, adoption, nation, and race continue to operate as relational categories with immediate effects on normative notions of family and kinship, belonging, the role of the state, and social welfare.

Contributors: Silke Hackenesch, Laura Briggs, Pamela Anne Quiroz, Eleana J. Kim, Kim Park Nelson, Amy E. Traver, Kori A. Graves, Tracey Owens Patton, Rosemarie H. Peña, Peter Selman

Author Photo

Silke Hackenesch is Associate Professor at the Institute of North American History in the Department of History, University of Cologne. She is the author of Chocolate and Blackness: A Cultural History.


List of Illustrations


Introduction        Histories and Legacies of Adopting Children across Race and Nation

Silke Hackenesch

Chapter 1   The Intimate Politics of Race and Globalization

Laura Briggs

Chapter 2      Detention, Deportation, and U S Adoption and Fostering of Immigrants’ Children: A Mirror on Whose Rights Matter

Pamela Anne Quiroz

Chapter 3   “Natural Born Aliens ”: Transnational Adoptees and U S Citizenship

Eleana J. Kim and Kim Park Nelson

Chapter 4   Cosmopolitan Families: Globalizing Americans’ International Adoptions

Amy E. Traver

Chapter 5   Black American Adoption Advocates and the Origins of Intercountry Adoption

Kori A. Graves

Chapter 6   Love across the Color Line? Pearl S. Buck and the Adoption of Afro-German Children after World War II

Silke Hackenesch

Chapter 7   I Want to Show You My New Family: Race, Rejection, and Reunion in Post–World War II Germany

Tracey Owens Patton

Chapter 8   Black Germans: Coming Home to Self and Community

Rosemarie H. Peña

Appendix   One Million Children Moving: Seventy Years of Transnational Adoption since the End of World War II

Peter Selman

List of Contributors


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