Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Adopting Maternity: White Women Who Adopt Transracially or Transnationally

Academic journal article Journal of Comparative Family Studies

Adopting Maternity: White Women Who Adopt Transracially or Transnationally

Article excerpt

Moosnich, Nora Rose. ADOPTING MATERNITY: WHITE WOMEN WHO ADOPT TRANSRACIALLY OR TRANSNATIONALLY. Westport,CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004.192 pp. Price: US $57.95, UK£31.95 (he). ISBN: 0275978125 (pb). ISBN-13:9780275978129 (he).

Reviewed by: RITA J. SIMON**

Having studied transracial and transcountry adoptions in a variety of contexts, white families who adopted black or biracial children; white, black Hispanic and Asian families who adopted Korean, Vietnamese, Hispanic and Caucasian children; and most recently Native American children who had been adopted by white and black families, I looked forward to reading this book.

In her research, Nora Rose Moosnick conducted in-depth interviews with 22 women, seven of whom adopted white children who were born in the United States, seven adopted Asian children (mostly Korean), and eight adopted black and biracial children. The author reports that race was not discussed in the narratives of women with white children, but discussed at length among mothers who adopted black and biracial children. The mothers who adopted Asian children emphasized cultural concerns, not race. With one exception all of the women hold at least a baccalaureate degree and at least ten held higher degrees. Eleven of the women work full time outside their homes, eight work part time and three are stay-at-home mothers.

How many of the women are married and living with their husbands is not disclosed and there is no discussion of the role that the adoptive fathers play in the family. Nor does the author tell us the gender of the children or the number of children adopted by each woman. Concerning the numbers adopted, we are told one of the women with white children adopted more than one child and five of the women with Asian children adopted more than one child. What about the women who adopted black or biracial children? Indeed, one of the major problems I had with Adopting Maternity is the lack of straight forward information on the age and gender of the children, the presence of birth children, and marital status of the mothers. …

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