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Giving Up BabySafe Haven Laws, Motherhood, and Reproductive Justice$
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Laury Oaks

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479897926

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479897926.001.0001

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The Unsurpassed Adoption Value of Safe Haven Babies

The Unsurpassed Adoption Value of Safe Haven Babies

(p.165) 4 The Unsurpassed Adoption Value of Safe Haven Babies
Giving Up Baby

Laury Oaks

NYU Press

This chapter examines the social value of safe haven babies and what contributes to their value. More specifically, it considers what the safe haven baby symbolizes in the adoption market and why some adoption advocates strongly oppose safe havens laws. It also explores the significance of the invisible safe haven mom in discussions of safe haven laws in terms of promoting fast-track adoptions. The chapter begins with an overview of the U.S. adoption system and its treatment of infants by age, race, and class, as well as the extent to which safe haven adoptions differ from planned domestic and transnational adoptions. It then analyzes media accounts of successful safe haven adoptions and comments by adoptive parents in relation to the process of adopting a safe haven baby. It also looks at adoptive mothers' longing to reach out to safe haven moms and the possibility that safe haven babies who are now teenagers may attempt to find their biological parents.

Keywords:   safe haven babies, safe havens laws, safe haven, safe haven adoption, adoptive parents, adoptive mothers, safe haven moms, biological parents

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