The Changing Tides of Adoption: Why Marriage, Race, and Family Identity Still Matter

19 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2018

See all articles by Jessica Dixon Weaver

Jessica Dixon Weaver

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

This essay expounds on the shifting motivation for adoption in the United States using a critical race feminist theory lens to explore how adoption remains wedded to marriage, the control of wealth, and family identity. These three elements have been historically and legally tied to race in that the law was intentionally written to exclude certain persons of color from being able to access marriage or wealth, thereby diminishing their ability to establish family identity.

This essay proceeds in three parts. Part II sets forth an overview of the evolution of adoption by exploring the breakdown of formal adoption and informal adoption. Part III discusses how families have changed over time, how societal changes have changed family law, and how these changes have impacted adoption and the number of children available for adoption. Part IV analyzes why marriage, race, and family identity are still so salient in adoption practice and how the impediments they present could be overcome with an extended family network constructed of multiple families.

Keywords: Family law, adoption, adoption practices, race, critical race feminist theory, formal adoption, informal adoption, exploitative adoption, exclusive adoption, inclusive adoption, family identity

Suggested Citation

Weaver, Jessica Dixon, The Changing Tides of Adoption: Why Marriage, Race, and Family Identity Still Matter (2018). SMU Law Review, Vol. 71, No. 1, 2018; SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 389. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3193636

Jessica Dixon Weaver (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
2147682641 (Phone)
2147683142 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
16
Abstract Views
197
PlumX Metrics