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Adoption Politics: Bastard Nation and Ballot Initiative 58 Hardcover – April 22, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 254 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (April 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700613056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700613052
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,459,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A timely, balanced, and thought-provoking book that raises questions about adoption, citizen initiatives, and privacy rights that we cannot afford to ignore."

From the Back Cover

From the pathbreaking historian of adoption secrecy and disclosure, Adoption Politics provides a gripping account of local politics in the Internet age and a perceptive analysis of how a new kind of grassroots initiative transformed adoption law.--Barbara Melosh, author of Strangers and Kin: The American Way of Adoption

A rich, detailed, and fascinating account. The voices of activists on both sides of the issue, framed by Carp's keen analysis and elegant prose, make this book essential reading for all those touched by adoption, as well as anyone interested in the politics of private life.--Elaine Tyler May, author of Barren in the Promised Land

A timely, balanced, and thought-provoking book that raises questions about adoption, citizen initiatives, and privacy rights that we cannot afford to ignore.--Steven Mintz, author of Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of Family Life

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Cyn on April 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As someone who was closely connected to the events detailed in Adoption Politics: Bastard Nation & Ballot Initiative 58, I was very happy to see that Professor Carp has changed his position on open records for adult adoptees since his Family Matters, in which he advocated mutual consent registries as the most equitable solution to the contentious issue of adoptee access to adoption and birth records. Here he clearly comes out for open records for those to whom they pertain, the adult adoptee.
In his introduction to Adoption Politics, Carp says: "In blending adopted adults' access to their original birth certificates with a protection for the birth mothers' right to privacy through a contact preference form (without legal penalties for violation), Measure 58 should be viewed as a model piece of legislation for other states to emulate." (p. 3-4)
And in the conclusion: "It [a coalition of adoption activists, adoption agencies and social workers] would not only confirm that a new age is dawning, but also that this new age makes it imperative to give adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates. It would be a clarion call that in the world of adoption it is time to look with fresh eyes at an old institution." (p. 169)
I do have to disagree with several points, though, such as the following in the conclusion: "But to achieve this goal nationwide, Bastard Nation and its supporters must free themselves of ideological blinders and recognize that adoption agencies do not constitute a single, monolithic 'adoption industry.' They must recognize that, either out of altruism or self-interest, the majority of adoption agencies support openness in adoption, including open records. ... The NCFA [National Council for Adoption]...will become increasingly isolated." (p.
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