A project of this duration and complexity involves so many people who enabled, enriched, encouraged, and otherwise helped me in the process. I owe much to Jennifer Wells, adoption advocate and family counselor, who guided my first research into adoption and with whom I spent many a fruitful hour discussing the politics and dynamics of adoption. Rosemary Broadbent offered her insights and experience in looking at the adoption process itself. Rachel Port got involved in the adoption research from the outset, and we became friends as well as fellow travelers: I am grateful to her for our dozens of kitchen table talks and so much more. I thank the many participants in the research project, who have been more than generous with their time and experiences. Some of the interviews were painful, others thrilling, many poignant, all of which helped me reexperience the intensity that sometimes accompanies research. I hope that these adopters and their families find the results useful, even at points where they might disagree with my interpretation of the narratives.
Colleagues in the Association of Black Anthropologists gave me counsel and insight into child rearing in a racist society and the kinship dynamics of race identity in adolescence. The framing of the chapter on transracial adoption owes much to Lynn Bolles, Cheryl Mwaria, and Angela Gilliam, as well as Jennifer and Tim Welles, Ida Susser, Karen Brodkin, Ethan NasreddinLongo, and Enoch Page. Mary Anglin helped me realize the significance of the research on parenting older girls for feminist theorization of gendered violence. Heléna Ragoné pushed the argument regarding infertility and ideologies of adoptive motherhood in ways that were very productive. Ida Susser heard many of the arguments in the formative stages and helped me concentrate on the most salient issues; I deeply appreciate her editorial suggestions. My conversations with Lisa Edelsward on similarities and differences between adoption in the United States and Canada and about recent research