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Single by Chance, Mothers by ChoiceHow Women are Choosing Parenthood without Marriage and Creating the New American Family$
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Rosanna Hertz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179903.001.0001

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Adoption and Fitting in

Adoption and Fitting in

(p.104) 6 Adoption and Fitting in
Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice

Rosanna Hertz

Oxford University Press

Adoptive mothers do not linger over the question of genes the way that donor-assisted families do. Without a biological connection, the discovery of who their children are (personality and talents) is greeted as a welcome surprise. This chapter notes that some of the women in the interviews have met the biological mothers (and sometimes fathers), but even then they do not focus on genetic inheritance. Adoptive mothers acknowledge an innate separation between the genetic and the social, believing that their influence is critical to their child's development. However, almost all of the adoptive mothers in this study spoke of ways their children might eventually trace their birth parents, highlighting their acknowledgment of biology's ability to aid in their children's quest for self-knowledge.

Keywords:   adoptive mothers, donor-assisted families, biological mothers, child's development, genetic inheritance, birth parents

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