Over the past decade, anthropologists, sociologists, and historians have explored the increasingly visible phenomenon of transnational adoption, often focusing on the perspective of adoptive families. In Somebody’s Children, Laura Briggs reminds us that such adoptions are not only about how children and parents are joined across borders. They are also just as significantly about how so many children came to be defined as adoptable in the first place. Briggs’s book traces the plight of those structurally disadvantaged women and families who have placed, or lost, the children that are eventually adopted. Briggs’s title is a retort to the legal scholar Elizabeth Bartholet’s Nobody’s Children (1999), which argued for easing restrictions on transnational adoption. Briggs insists that such restrictions are intended to preserve the rights of birth family members to their children, and that to understand adoption we must consider the “actual or potential taking of children” that lies behind...
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Book Review| May 01 2013
Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption
Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption. By Briggs, Laura.
Duke University Press,
Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. xi, 360 pp. Paper, $25.95.
Jessaca B. Leinaweaver
Hispanic American Historical Review (2013) 93 (2): 336–338.
Jessaca B. Leinaweaver; Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2013; 93 (2): 336–338. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-2077540
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