Podcast Episode 41 – Disability, Adoption, Risk, and the Modern American Family

Sandy Sufian discusses her latest book, Familial Fitness: Disability, Adoption, and Family in Modern America.

Episode Image: Cover of Familial Fitness by Sandra M. Sufian. The cover is white with an indigo blue newborn’s footprint on it. The footprint looks like the prints taken for birth certificates right after a baby is born.

Download mp3 file here.
Download pdf transcript here.

About our Guest

Sandy Sufian is a historian of medicine and disability at University of Illinois at Chicago. She holds joint appointments  in the Department of Medical Education in the College of Medicine (Health Humanities) and in the Department of Disability and Human Development in the College of Applied Health Sciences. She is cofounder of the Cystic Fibrosis Reproductive and Sexual Health Collaborative and serves on the editorial board of Disability Studies Quarterly. Her most recent book is Familial Fitness: Disability, Adoption, and Family in Modern Americaa history of the adoption of children with disabilities in the US during the twentieth century.

Sandy studies how biological and contextual factors interact to shape disability and illness experiences. She centers patients’ voices in her research to best understand the complexity of their lives and their health status. She is specifically interested in the areas of sexual and reproductive health, chronic illness, family and kinship, and best-practices for patient-centered research outcomes. She teaches graduate and medical students about patient-centered and contextual care, social aspects of illness and disability, and the social and structural determinants of health.