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Lori Chambers’ fascinating study explores the legal history of adoption in Ontario since the passage of the first statute in 1921. This volume explores a wide range of themes and issues in the history of adoption including: the reasons for the creation of statutory adoption, the increasing voice of unmarried fathers in newborn adoption, the reasons for movement away from secrecy in adoption, the evolution of step-parent adoption, the adoption of Indigenous children, and the growth of international adoption.
Unlike other works on adoption, Chambers focuses explicitly on statutes, statutory debates and the interpretation of statues in court. In doing so, she concludes that adoption is an inadequate response to child welfare and on its own cannot solve problems regarding child neglect and abuse. Rather, Chambers argues that in order to reform the area of adoption we must first acknowledge that it is built upon social inequalities within and between nations.