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University of Nebraska Press
The following review appeared in the February 2015 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Is the transracial adoption of indigenous children an act of compassionate benevolence to help address impoverished dependence on government assistance? Or is it an act of cultural genocide against indigenous peoples by settler colonialists? Historian Jacobs (Nebraska) calls these questions that grew out of a particular historical moment after WW II a "paradoxical crisis" and a story with “competing narrators, tangled plot lines, and a cast of complex characters.” Her clear focus and strength is on the US Native American context as she recounts the legal, political, and cultural legacy of US colonialism and wrestles with the two questions that begin this review. The challenges in understanding and reconciling intents and effects are further grounded and reinforced with text and photo vignettes of adoptees and their families. Jacobs succeeds to a degree in comparing and contrasting the issue with Canadian and Australian contexts. However, one chapter for each of these two countries allows only for some basic context that privileges US readers. What one can conclude is that transracial adoptions reveal both the trauma and resilience of indigenous children and families while increasing visibility and attention to this issue and its charged but as yet unreconciled questions.--G. Bruyere, University of Manitoba