The Market in Babies

Stories of Australian Adoption

By Marian Quartly, Shurlee Swain, Denise Cuthbert

The Market in Babies tells the history of adoption in Australia from its beginnings in the 19th century to its decline at the beginning of the 21st. In the early years, supply outstripped demand; needy children were hard to place. In the mid-20th century, demand and supply grew together with adoption presented as the perfect solution to two social problems - infertility and illegitimacy. Supply declined in the 1970s, and demand turned to new global markets. Now these markets are closing, but technology provides new opportunities, and Australians are acquiring babies through the surrogacy markets of India and the US. As the rate of adoptions in Australia falls to a historic low, and with parliaments across the country apologizing to parents and children for the pain caused by past practices, this book identifies an historical continuum between the past and the present, and it challenges the view that the best interests of the child can ever be protected in an environment where the market for children is allowed to flourish. The book's authors are long-established scholars with expertise in the history of the family, welfare history, and the making of public policy in Australia. *** "The richness of this book lies in equal measure in the sources it uses and its ability to synthesize history and public policy. The voices of adoptees and parents gathered here are moving and sophisticated, even as they tell diverse stories about their experiences. Highly recommended." -- Choice, Vol. 52, No. 2, October 2014~

168 pages

Publication Date: 11/18/2013
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781921867866

Available in other formats