Writing a book proposal by peter rubie plainfield

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Writing a book proposal by peter rubie plainfield

The Background of American Adoption Policy "The felt necessities of the time" "Properly speaking a legal adoption is a procedure which establishes the relationship of parent and child between persons not so related by nature.

At the same time the adoption terminates all such relationships between the child and its natural parents" Leavy and Weinbergv. My book is about legal adoption and I describe the background of contemporary practice and policy through a focus on its guiding principle, "the best interests of the child.

Yet adoption is also a way of creating a family, and this other purpose complicates the application of "best interests. The first law, in Massachusetts inapparently passed without much fanfare or debate, suggesting the time had come for such legislation.

This was further suggested by the rapidity with which other states followed suit: Pennsylvania inthen the rest of the nation.

These laws had elements in common: The laws also uniformly took adoption out of state legislatures and placed the transaction in the probate courts, where it could happen quickly, efficiently, and democratically—not, however, without involving the court in interpretations of the parent-child relationship.

In the interests of the child, the concept of parent was deconstructed and its meanings analyzed. Yet this radical maneuver was combined with respect for the core symbols of kinship: Upon that combination, the transformation of kinship in an adoption rested.

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Furthermore, not only adoption—though adoption most severely—but also custody cases exposed the structures and symbols of kinship in the United States. Adoption was severe, as commentators, experts, and participants noted, inasmuch as the transaction severed the bond of blood.

Unlike any other child placement, adoption permanently cut the ties of nature; yet decisions about adoption could not have been made without these other cases in which a child was removed from one parent and placed with another.

A variety of judicial explorations of parenthood in the early and mid-nineteenth century contributed to the substance and the directives of adoption law.

These judicial explorations also gave adoption law the inconsistencies and paradoxes evident today. Like other domestic law, diverse from state to state, adoption law seems particularly chaotic, contradictory, and open to individual construction.

Such lack of uniformity, I suggest, stems from a cultural resistance to the idea that blood can be severed and replaced by contract. The thrust of adoption law and policy is to pretend that blood is there; a fictive kinship is just like a biological relationship.

But it is not: Why then were laws of adoption passed so rapidly and apparently inevitably in the late nineteenth century—laws that facilitated the creation of fictive kinship?

Several explanations have been offered for why adoption laws came when they did in the United States. By and large, these explanations conclude by citing the intersection of social and demographic changes unique to the time with shifts in ideologies of family and of childhood.

Deeming the family the right and natural place for a child, the state took the condition of the family as its responsibility. It carried out this responsibility first through the judges who supervised adoptions and then through the experts on child welfare who investigated the circumstances of a placement.

But nothing was crystal clear and much depended on the individual case, the particular judge, and contemporaneous interpretations of mother, father, and child. Adoption law asks who is the best parent for a child and implies a question about what a parent is. In the interests of a child, a parent must be evaluated, qualified, and approved.

Reasons for wanting a child come under scrutiny, leading to a distinction between altruistically "rescuing" and selfishly "having" a child.

The distinction between helping a child in need and taking a child in order to create a family is not easy to maintain: Yet efforts to preserve the distinction persist, a way of further refining the concept of "parent. Thus, the thesis of the present chapter is that neither "best interests" nor its accompanying emphasis on conduct in defining a parent eliminates the paradoxes attached to making a kinship that is as-if-begotten.

Industrialization and urbanization, in the company of restrictions on child labor, did put more children on the streets; that a child ought not be at work but rather at school or at home seemed to have the effect of producing bands of wandering children Howe At the same time, as commentators have noted, new views of childhood, of the family, of affection, and of individual rights took hold.

One answer is that people were already engaged in transforming a "cared-for" child into a child as-if-begotten.

Adoption had occurred in the United States, for over a century, despite the lack of precedent in English common law. Through a private legislative act, a child could become a full member of a family. The number of such acts increased in the nineteenth century, demanding attention from state legislators.

The more so, undoubtedly, since these adoptions tended to involve children who were blood related—nephews, nieces, cousins.

Like their fellow citizens, legislators were reassured by the continuity of blood through the change of parenthood.Peter Rubie specializes in a broad range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction.


In non-fiction he specializes in narrative non-fiction, popular science, spirituality, history, biography, pop culture, business and technology, parenting, health, self help, music, and food.

Writing career Frances Watkins had her first volume of verse, Forest Leaves, published in when she was A single copy of this volume, long lost, was recently rediscovered by scholar Johanna Ortner in Baltimore, in the Maryland Historical Society, [4] her second book, Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects (), was extremely popular.

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Peter Sigewick Wick () died in Ramsey County. Ella Victoria Evelyn Wick () was born in Minnesota, had a mother with a maiden name of Johnson, and died in Hennepin County.

writing a book proposal by peter rubie plainfield

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