Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Kinship by Design – A History of Adoption in the Modern United States | Chicago Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kinship by Design: A History of Adoption in the Modern United States

Ellen Herman


What constitutes a family? Tracing the dramatic evolution of Americans' answer to this question over the past century, this book provides the fullest account to date of modern adoption's history. Beginning in the early 1900s, when children were still transferred between households by a variety of unregulated private arrangements, the book details efforts by the U.S. Children's Bureau and the Child Welfare League of America to establish adoption standards in law and practice. It goes on to trace Americans' shifting ideas about matching children with physically or intellectually similar parents, ... More

Keywords: adoption, family, United States, U.S. Children's Bureau, Child Welfare League of America, social welfare, childhood, nature-nurture debate, children

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780226327594
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226328072.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ellen Herman, author