Prior to World War II, international adoption was virtually unknown, but in the twenty-first century, it has become a common practice, touching almost every American. How did the adoption of foreign children by U.S. families become an essential part of American culture in such a short period of time? Rachel Rains Winslow investigates this question, following the trail from Europe to South Korea and then to Vietnam. The Best Possible Immigrants shows how a combination of domestic trends, foreign policies, and international instabilities created an environment in which adoption flourished. Winslow’s talk will bring this historical conversation up to the present.
Rachel Rains Winslow is Assistant Professor of History at Westmont College, Director of Westmont’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and Co-Director of Westmont’s Initiative for Public Dialogue. She is the author of The Best Possible Immigrants: International Adoption and the American Family (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). She currently serves as a fellow with the Kettering Foundation, working on the intersection between public deliberation and local action as a way to engage students in democracy. Her teaching, research, and community work bring together her interest in U.S. social policy, social change practices, and American political culture.
Sponsored by the Center for Cold War Studies and International History.