Your ideas

I thought it might be interesting to provide Harlow’s Monkey readers with some historical background on topics of adoption.

My views about adoption have been framed largely from my education and my own self-driven research. In order to understand my own adoption experiences, I have undertaken both formal (school) and general research over the past ten years. And as my search to understand went on, my interests expanded to include broader subjects that I felt were keenly tied to adoption issues; subjects such as race, gender politics, religion, feminism and the sociological studies about family norms and functions. All these things, I believe, are somewhat (in large or in part) related to the topic of adoption.

I’m a strong believer that we must know the past to understand the present and to work towards a more ethical future.

Many of us, myself included, formed strong opinions about adoption without having that historical perspective. I found many of my views changed after learning about adoption history. For example, it was reading and learning about the Native American boarding schools and the Indian Child Welfare Act which radically changed the way I view international adoption.

So I have a few topics in mind already, and am working on posts about those topics. But I’d like to open it up to my readers and ask, What particular issues are you interested in? Keep in mind, I am not an expert on everything related to adoption. What I hope to do is provide Harlow’s Monkey readers with some background and historical perspective if possible, and maybe your topic suggestions will inspire me to dig into an issue I hadn’t researched before.

For example, some of the topics I am working on:

  • The Orphan Train movement
  • American Indian Boarding Schools
  • Disparities in the U.S. child welfare system regarding child protection issues (removal of children)
  • Disparities in the U.S. child welfare system regarding adoption recruiting
  • The Hague Convention
  • MEPA (the Multi Ethnic Placement Act)
  • ICWA (Indian Child Welfare Act)
  • The National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW) position on transracial adoption

Please provide suggestions via the comment section.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

8 thoughts

  1. I would love to hear more about:
    Disparities in the U.S. child welfare system regarding child protection issues (removal of children)
    The NABSW position on transracial adoption

  2. I’d be interested in learning more about all of the topics you’ve mentioned, though this one catches my eye most at the moment:
    Disparities in the U.S. child welfare system regarding child protection issues (removal of children)
    I’m also interested in your topic of disparities in recruitment- specifically I am interested in learning more about what (if any) recruitment is done for foster or adoptive parents in the way of culture/race/ethnicity
    “matching”. For example, are there any agencies in the US that try to reach out to the Korean-American population to promote Korean adoption?
    Another topic I’d be interested in is learning more about agencies that work both with adoption/placement/potential a-parents & with pregnancy counseling/potential birthparents, potential conflict of interests in working with both parties or any benefits of serving both.

  3. – Crack versus meth addiction. How is the difference handled, in general, by CPS departments, especially considering the racial divide (meth=the white drug, at least here in the south)
    – intersection of immigrant communities with CPS in cases where many of the community members are undocumented/illegal
    – Influence of religion and church life on African-American attitudes towards adoption

  4. For me, I’d like to read about any of those topics. I’m probably most interested in reading about children being forcibly removed from one culture and placed in another.
    I’m also interested in reading about glbt issues regarding adoption. I don’t know if you are too interested in that, but I’d like to read about the changes that are occurring around the world. Actually, I think I should head on over to Amazon and see what I can find.

  5. Wow, all of that sounds interesting. But most especially the child welfare system and removal of children. Also, any tips or referrals you might have to aid folks in doing their own research. I really don’t know where to start, myself. But feel the need before we go any further with our family.
    Thank you,

  6. My husband and I read “Orphan Train Rider” with our sons (ages 12, 9 & 7). It was eye-opening for all of us to see how recently that kind of adoption was occuring in our country. Whenever I hear remarks about how horrible the people ‘over there’ are about abandonment of children, I think of that book and the parents and circumstances that led to the orphan trains. We are not so far removed. There is so much to learn from history, not just in the name of not repeating our mistakes, but to gain the understanding that will allow us to empathasize and allow others to stumble as they find their way, rather than critizing and stepping in with our solution.
    When we were looking to adopt a fourth child into our family, we contacted DSS and let them know that we were interested in a toddler to foster-to-adopt. We were told that no toddlers were available (??!! we live just outside a major US city). DSS always tries to return toddlers to their families. While I support the family unit, it makes me so sad to see young children returned to horrible situations, only to be back in foster care as school aged kids…
    So I’d love to hear anything about these topics – really anything, I will keep reading – love your blog : )

  7. I recently read a book about the European Kinder Transports during the Hitler era. What was so sad to me that in this instance, most of the children would have died for sure, and yet the sadness of the loss of culture, family, identity was so profound. It really hits home that the reasons for separation are different issues than, how the adoptees feel. They still have such loss, even knowing that their parents had no choice but to send their children away. Just because they gained a chance at escaping death, it does not change how they feel about being given no choice but to leave their homes. I really learned a lot at so many levels.

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