Rebecca Wellington, Alice Stephens, and Grace Yung Foster for WHO IS A WORTHY MOTHER? **IN-PERSON**


Loyalty is very excited to welcome Rebecca Wellington, Alice Stephens, and Grace Yung Foster to celebrate Who Is A Worthy Mother! This event will take place at Loyalty Petworth (843 Upshur Street NW, Washington, DC 20011). **This event is free to attend, but registration is required** You can purchase the book from Loyalty below or in-person during the event! Please email  with any questions.


Nearly every person in the United States is affected by adoption. Adoption practices are woven into the fabric of American society and reflect how our nation values human beings, particularly mothers. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women's reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, Rebecca C. Wellington is uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption. Wellington's timely--and deeply researched--account amplifies previously marginalized voices and exposes the social and racial biases embedded in the United States' adoption industry. 


The history of adoption is rarely told from an adoptee's perspective. Wellington remedies this gap by framing the chronicle of adoption in America using her own life story. She describes growing up in a family with which she had no biological connection, giving birth to her own biological children, and then enduring the death of her sister, who was also adopted. As she reckons with the pain and unanswered questions of her own experience, she explores broader issues surrounding adoption in the United States, including changing legal policies, sterilization and compulsory relinquishment programs, forced assimilation of babies of color and Indigenous babies adopted into white families, and other liabilities affecting women, mothers, and children. 


According to Wellington, US adoption practices in America are shrouded in secrecy, for they frequently cast shame on unmarried women, women struggling with fertility, and "illegitimate" babies and children. As the United States once again finds itself embroiled in heated disputes over women's bodily autonomy--disputes in which adoption plays a central role--Wellington's book offers a unique and much-needed frame of reference.


Writer, historian, and educator Rebecca Wellington teaches at the University of Puget Sound in the School of Education. She holds a doctorate in Education History from the University of Washington, where she taught in the undergraduate program of the College of Education. Her scholarly articles have been published in The History of Education Quarterly, The American Indian Quarterly and The Pacific Northwest Quarterly. Her first book Who Is a Worth Mother? An Intimate History of Adoption comes out in April 2024 from University of Oklahoma Press.


Born in South Korea to a Korean mother and an American father, Alice Stephens was adopted into a white family from Philadelphia with three biological children. When she was four, the family moved to Botswana, and since then she has lived on four continents and traveled the world. Her work has appeared in Urban Mozaik, Flung, Banana Writers, The American, the LA Review of Books, and the Washington Independent Review of Books, which publishes her column, Alice in Wordland. Famous Adopted People is her debut novel. Please visit her website

Grace Y. Foster (she/her) is the Founder & CEO of The Inclusion Initiative, a tech platform for professionals that is elevating the future of work for Adoptees of Color and Foster Care Alumni.

Please note Loyalty has a zero tolerance policy for harassment or intimidation of any kind during this event. 

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
843 Upshur Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption By Rebecca Wellington Cover Image
ISBN: 9780806193700
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: University of Oklahoma Press - April 9th, 2024

Famous Adopted People By Alice Stephens Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944700744
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Click on the title to see which location!
Published: Unnamed Press - October 16th, 2018

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