WHERE ARE MY BIRTH PARENTS? by Karen Gravelle

WHERE ARE MY BIRTH PARENTS?

A Guide for Teenage Adoptees
Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 By the author of other books on ``issues of importance to adolescents'' (Teenage Fathers, 1992) and a clinical psychologist who has written about surrogate mothers, a knowledgeable, perceptive discussion of the logistics--legal, emotional, etc.- -faced by adoptees seeking their birth parents. For adolescents, the process is complicated by the need to separate from parents while defining themselves as adults; since most states access records only to adults, the cooperation of an adoptive parent is necessary. With three detailed exceptions, most of the adoptees interviewed here were adult searchers, but the basics--the need to connect with the past and to resolve feelings of abandonment- -are the same at any age. The authors sample a helpful variety of circumstances (including international adoption); the responses of birth mothers, from joy to outright rejection; and the ups and downs of subsequent relationships. With admirable sensitivity, they use specific cases to develop guidelines on what to expect, though they do harp on the probability of adoptive parents feeling hurt, and never address the worst fears that can, unfortunately, prove true (e.g., that the birth mother was raped). Still, these are defensible choices in a book urging adoptees' right--and compelling need--to know, while encouraging them to find out. Sensible and supportive. Lengthy lists of search and support groups, including many grouped by state, plus counseling centers and a registry; bibliography. (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8027-8257-4
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Walker
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1993




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