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How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families--and America

by Adam Pertman

Pub Date: April 4th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55832-716-0
Publisher: Harvard Common Press

In an updated edition, journalist turned adoption advocate Pertman presents a modern take on adoption and how it's changing American families.

Consider Kelly, a 6-year-old girl who was given up by her birth mother only later to appear as the flower girl in her wedding. Kelly's story, and that of her mother Donna, are far removed from the scene that unfolded for Sheila Hanson in 1961, when she was denied even a glimpse of her baby before he was given up for adoption. Pertman provides more than facts and resources for adoptive parents, although those are here as well. The book is a comprehensive discussion of adoption, ranging from international adoptions, attitudes toward adoption and open adoption. The author is careful not to paint a falsely rosy picture. Adoption regulations are inconsistent, and currently, only nine states allow broad access to birth records. Racist attitudes about international and interracial adoption won’t go away overnight, if ever. And while the Internet has made adoption easier, there are also many online scams. Pertman doesn't sugarcoat the problems, but he also shows the immense joy of this untraditional means of building a family. The author, an editor at Adoption Quarterly, writes in a style that is easy to read, even when the stories are heartbreaking. His honest presentation will be of great help to readers sorting through a maze of emotions and potential pitfalls.

A valuable learning experience for anyone, especially the adoptive parent.