Weaving a Family by Barbara Katz Rothman
Untangling Race and Adoption

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A man, a woman, and their biological children, all of the same race, the mythical "nuclear family" has been the bedrock of American cultural, religious, social, and economic life since the Revolutionary War, and even with all the changes we have absorbed in the last sixty years, it essentially remains so. Current trends in adoption, however, have begun to shift the dominant paradigm of the family in ways never before imagined. Professional estimates show that in the United States today, seven million families have been formed by adoption, and 700,000 of them are interracial. These still-growing numbers have begun to radically change the face of the traditional American family.

Barbara Katz Rothman, a noted sociologist who has explored motherhood in four previous books and has more recently explored the social implications of the human genome project, now turns her eye toward race and family. Weaving together the sociological, the historical, and the personal, Barbara Katz Rothman looks at the contemporary American family through the lens of race, race through the lens of adoption, and all-family, race, and adoption-within the context of the changing meanings of motherhood. She asks urgent and provocative questions about children as commodities, about "trophy" children, about the impact of genetics, and about how these adopted children will find their racial, ethnic, or cultural identities

Drawing on her own experience as the white mother of a black child, on historical research on white people raising black children from slavery to contemporary times, and pulling together work on race, adoption, and consumption, Rothman offers us new insights for understanding the way that race and family are shaped in America today. This book is compelling reading, not only for those interested in family and society, but for anyone grappling with the myriad issues that surround raising a child of a different race.

About Barbara Katz Rothman

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Barbara Katz Rothman is a professor of sociology at the City University of New York. Her previous books include The Book of Life (Beacon / 0451-0 / $16.00 pb), Recreating Motherhood, The Tentative Pregnancy, and In Labor. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and the youngest of their three children.
Published May 15, 2005 by Beacon Press. 288 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Parenting & Relationships, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

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Raising a black child in a white family requires not just making personal connections and weaving together a family, but weaving together the black and white communities.

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