Rachel Winslow, director of the Westmont Center for Social Entrepreneurship and assistant professor of history, explores the growing American trend of adopting international children in a new book. “The Best Possible Immigration: International Adoption and the American Family” investigates how the adoption of foreign children by U.S. families has become a common practice, touching almost every American.
Focusing on postwar adoptions of children from Europe, South Korea and Vietnam, Winslow argues that governments, social welfare professionals, volunteers, national and local media, adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents worked together successfully on adoption. The book describes a combination of domestic trends, foreign policies and international instabilities that created an environment in which adoption flourished.
“‘The Best Possible Immigration’ makes a significant and impressive contribution to the now-expanding literature of the history of adoption in the United States and, more specifically, to the history of transnational adoption to the United States,” says Karen Balcom, professor of history at McMaster University. “It will be of great interest to scholars of immigration policy and law.”
Winslow, a 20th century U.S. historian whose research and teaching interests include race, family, gender, childhood, and social policy, coordinates the Westmont Downtown Semester. She graduated from the University of Rochester, earned a master’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, and completed a doctorate at UC Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the effect of social policies and culture on families, bureaucracy and international development.