Home » Little Strangers: Portrayals of Adoption and Foster Care in America, 1850-1929 by Claudia Nelson
Little Strangers: Portrayals of Adoption and Foster Care in America, 1850-1929 Claudia Nelson

Little Strangers: Portrayals of Adoption and Foster Care in America, 1850-1929

Claudia Nelson

Published May 10th 2014
ISBN : 9781282072060
ebook
224 pages
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 About the Book 

When Massachusetts passed Americas first comprehensive adoption law in 1851, the usual motive for taking in an unrelated child was presumed to be the need for cheap labor. But by 1929the first year that every state had an adoption lawthe adopteesMoreWhen Massachusetts passed Americas first comprehensive adoption law in 1851, the usual motive for taking in an unrelated child was presumed to be the need for cheap labor. But by 1929—the first year that every state had an adoption law—the adoptees main function was seen as emotional. Little Strangers examines the representations of adoption and foster care produced over the intervening years. Claudia Nelson argues that adoption texts reflect changing attitudes toward many important social issues, including immigration and poverty, heredity and environment, individuality and citizenship, gender, and the family. She examines orphan fiction for children, magazine stories and articles, legal writings, social work conference proceedings, and discussions of heredity and child psychology. Nelsons ambitious scope provides for an analysis of the extent to which specialist and mainstream adoption discourse overlapped, as well as the ways in which adoption and foster care had captivated the public imagination.