The Problem with Adoption

By LARB Radio HourMarch 22, 2024

The Problem with Adoption
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Kate Wolf speaks with sociologist Gretchen Sisson about her first book, Relinquished: The Politics of Adoption and the Privilege of American Motherhood. The book is based on interviews Sisson conducted over the last decade with birth mothers who relinquished their children for private adoption in the US. Most often Sisson found that these women deeply regretted their decision, and that poverty was the driving force behind it. Alongside the harrowing stories of the women who Sisson spoke with, her book also looks at the history of adoption in the United States and its ties to conservative Christianity, as well as family policing systems of the state. In an age of narrowing reproductive freedom, when adoption is touted by the Supreme Court as an answer to the need for abortion, Relinquished asks hard questions about the compatibility of the practice with the possibility for true reproductive justice.

Also, Brad Gooch, author of Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring, returns to recommend Candy Darling by Cynthia Carr.

LARB Contributor

The LARB Radio Hour is hosted by Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf.


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