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Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America (Nation of Nations) Paperback – October 11, 2013
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"How has the sight of a little Asian girl with a white American family become so commonplace? In Catherine Ceniza Choy’s sensitive and absorbing study, we learn that transnational adoptions reveal the intertwined stories not only of war, race, foreign policy, liberalism, and immigration, but also of intimacy, loss, and reconciliation. Choy highlights the human, non-governmental, and personal ways in which America’s relationships with the world has touched and shaped us."-Naoko Shibusawa,Brown University
"Global Families is transformative in the strongest sense: it challenges the histories that we conventionally tell about Asian international adoption. Whether by uncovering the crucial role of mixed-race babies in the origins of Asian international adoption or recovering the story of baseball pitcher-adoptive father Jim Bouton, Catherine Ceniza Choy crafts a unique history focusing on organizational practices and non-state actors. Using International Social Services records as a point of departure, this book provides crucial historical frameworks for any reader interested in adoption, race, migration, and 20th century international relations."-Mark Jerng,author of Claiming Others: Transracial Adoption and National Belonging
"Global Families adds important analyses of race, empire, migration, and globalization to the scholarship on international adoption and studies of childhood more broadly. It is meticulously researched but also highly readable."-The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth
“Choy’s ability to capture, passionately and compassionately, the particularities of individual, organizational, and national histories is the main strength of her book. Her concept of global family making deserves serious consideration as it bridges the micro and macro processes that come together to shape normative and non-normative family structures, including multiracial, queer, and extended family formations. . . . In Choy’s incisive and sensitive writing, I hope that [adoptive parents] will see themselves reflected not as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ individuals or families, but as participants in a collective saga of personal and political upheaval that is still unfolding.”-Women's Review of Books
"While Hollywood has made it famous, people have been adopting children from other countries since the end of World War II . . . In this book Catherine Choy brings to life the history of this unique way to create a family . . . This book will help students get a sense of where we have come from."-Kevin Winter,San Francisco Book Review
"Overall, Choy’s book is a welcome contribution to understandings of race during the Cold War, the shape of humanitarian adoptions, and the racialized aspects of adoptive kinship, and adoptee experience, all topics covered in five substantive chapters . . . . The book is written for a general audience and will be of interest for scholars of adoption history and politics, and American social work history, as well as historians and scholars of Asian migration to the United States, American studies, and Asian American history."-Eleana Kim, University of Rochester
"Choy's writing is engaging, and the book is a valuable resource for adoptees and families who want to find out how their own stories fit into a larger history."-Wendi A. Maloney,Families with Children from China
“In this engaging book, Choy looks at one aspect of this complex subject. . . . In a gripping final chapter, Choy turns to adoptees—now adults—and charts the ways they have used art to ‘talk back’ to triumphalist adoption narratives. Their art speaks to precisely what these narratives suppress: ambivalence, loss, grief, and racism. This pain does not nullify adoptees’ commitment to their adopted families, but it does remind us that many adoption stories remain to be told. Choy’s book provides a wonderful start.”-The Journal of American History
"Her book's strength is in the stories themselves, which Choy narrates with skill and sympathy. . . . A useful corrective to one-dimensional, romantic portraits of adoption that saturate popular culture today. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."-K. Dubinsky,Choice
"Global Families is a rare find: a scholarly work that reads like a novel. The framing story, the little-known but influential work of International Social Service, is fascinating in its own right. What felt even more important was how, without compromising on research or analysis, Global Families makes this history matter on a deeply human level. It includes personal stories of the people who were involved in shaping Asian international adoption in the U.S., as well as those affected by it. It raises hard questions about the current practice and culture of international adoption. And it confronts us with the emerging voices of people adopted through this system, who are now old enough to speak for themselves. I’m hoping Catherine Ceniza Choy will continue to look at adoption through this lens, so we can all see more clearly."-Laura Callen, Founder/Director of Adoption Museum Project
About the Author
Catherine Ceniza Choy is Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of the award-winning book Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History.