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Inside the CastleLaw and the Family in 20th Century America$
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Joanna L. Grossman and Lawrence M. Friedman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149820

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149820.001.0001

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Chosen People: Adoption and the Law

Chosen People: Adoption and the Law

(p.305) Chapter Fourteen Chosen People: Adoption and the Law
Inside the Castle

Joanna L. Grossman

Lawrence M. Friedman

Princeton University Press

This chapter briefly traces the history of adoption law and takes a look at some of the more tricky issues that surround this institution—cross-racial adoption and the role adoption plays in the formation of gay and lesbian families. It also shows how adoption reflects the major cultural trends in American life. Americans generally, in the age of expressive individualism, try desperately to fashion for themselves unique and satisfying selves; and discover, in a sense, who they really are. For adopted children, this can include a search for their “real” parents and the discovery of their true genetic code. Men and women can decide to have children or not. Adopted children, uniquely, have in a way the right to decide to have parents or not, or more accurately, to decide which parents to cling to.

Keywords:   adoption, adoption law, cross-racial adoption, gay families, lesbian families, expressive individualism, identity formation, adopted children

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