Gretchen is a sociologist at ANSIRH (Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health) in the Department of OB/GYN at University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on adoption, abortion, infertility, and young parenthood. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Backline, a free talkline providing support for callers for experiences and feelings around pregnancy, parenting, abortion, and adoption. You can find her on Twitter @gesisson.
There’s a tendency in our society to think of relationships formed by adoption as somehow less real than those rooted in biology. This may explain why so much of the discussion of Farrow’s story of abuse has focused on her status as an adopted person.
How do the intersections between adoption, poverty, race, and class play out today?
Many of the historical problems with adoption came from the desire to keep it secret, to allow adoptive families to “pass” as traditional, biologically related families. Fully embracing openness is key to our efforts to keep improving adoption and placing further distance between its dark and coercive past and its hopeful future.