I thank Old Dominion University, the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and the College of Arts and Letters in particular, for granting me research leave and resources that facilitated the completion of this book. The intellectual forum and networking possibilities provided by the Center for Adoption Research at the University of Massachusetts’s Medical School at Worcester were also essential in developing this project. I am further grateful to the Department of Sociology at Arizona State University at Tempe for granting me visiting scholar status during the spring of 2004.
The support of many individuals, colleagues and friends, within and outside academia, has been invaluable. The enthusiastic responses and contributions by my coauthors have, of course, been essential and inspiring, and the book would not exist without them. My editors at Rutgers University Press, Kristi Long and Adi Hovav, believed in the idea of this book from the beginning, and their expertise guided me along the way. I owe a particular debt to my husband Pete, without whose steadfast support and sage advice I could not have brought this project to fruition.