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Birthmothers presents intimate and stirring accounts of more than seventy women who surrendered babies for adoption. It follows their lives long-term, from discovery of their pregnancies through the present, and identifies the Birthmother Syndrome—a pattern of behavior and emotions resulting from surrender. With heartwarming candor, Birthmothers reveals the stories of the invisible side of the adoption triangle, and touches everyone involved in adoption, as well as anyone interested in motherhood, family, and women in our society.
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Generations of adults who were adopted as children have been kept in the dark about their original identities. The law sealing birth records, passed in 1935 in California during the Great Depression, swept adoptions emotional complexities under the rug and made it possible to keep adoption itself a secret. Reflecting extensive archival research and written for general audiences as well as professionals, Growing in the Dark: Adoption Secrecy and Its Consequences takes you through Californias early adoption laws, the sealing of records in the era of baby seller Georgia Tann, and the various consequences of this policy as they unfolded throughout the 20th century. WHAT REVIEWERS HAVE SAID: "...articulate, easy to read, and filled with real facts concerning sealed records." - Jean Brown, adoptee "If you work or live with adoption, you cannot afford to skip this book. Everyone seeking to reverse outdated sealed records laws should also provide a copy of the slim paperback to their legislatures." - Mirah Riben, author "...full of fascinating information...you wont be able to put it down." - Anita Field, Bastard Nation "Janine Baer, who was adopted in California, focuses on the California law enacted in 1935 sealing original birth certificates. Contrary to the popular perception, the intent of this law was not to protect the privacy of birthmothers. Rather, these records were sealed to protect children from the stigma of illegitimacy, to protect adoptive parents from intrusions by birthparents, to allow adoptive parents to keep the childs adoptive status a secret, to create the illusion that the birthparents did not exist, and to prevent adoptees from finding their birthfamilies. ...This is an excellent book for birthparents, adoptees, and adoptive parents who want to know how we got to where we are." - Jane Edwards, Portland, Oregon "Growing in the Dark, by virtue of its modest length and accessibility, can be used to educate people both within and outside of the adoption reform movement about the effects of sealed records and the faulty premises used to support them." - Barbara Busharis, American Adoption Congress "Decree" "Extensive notes and bibliographic information make it an excellent resource for those arguing for open records." - Sandra Falconer Pace, Canadian Council of Natural Mothers Note on price: Nonprofit organizations and resellers get 40% off. Call Xlibris for these orders: 1-888-795-4274.
Do parents with adoptive children see themselves as similar to or different from nonadoptive parents? Is the stigma attached to adoption lessening? Does open communication about adoption contribute to the family's well-being? How successful are adoptive adults at putting their adolescent turmoil behind them? These and many other important and complex questions are addressed in Families and Adoption, an informative guidebook that shows you how adoption is both a condition and a lifelong process. Families and Adoption discusses legislation that can serve the needs of various members of the adoptive experience to deepen your understanding of the key legal issues associated with consent and openness. It also provides you with detailed coverage of changes in adoption law, open adoption research results, transracial and transethnic adoption, and the consequences of placing versus parenting for unmarried, teenage women who give birth. Graduate students, social workers, adoption professionals, members of adoptive families, and couples wishing to adopt will find there isn't a rock that Families and Adoption leaves unturned. It presents you with vital information on the following topics: the developmental stages of reunion between an adoptive child and birth parent notions of adoption, parenthood, and kinship and how these notions are challenged after a reunion has taken place the institution of adoption as it has existed for decades in American society international adoption respecting the bonds children have and helping them develop critical attachment skills those who "accept" open-adoption and those who "embrace" it flexible parenting styles and their positive effect on developmentally vulnerable adoptees A skillful blend of personal adoption experiences and research studies, Families and Adoption explores the special issues adoption presents and how all parties involved can work together to improve placement decisions, ensure that a woman is confident in her decision to relinquish her child, and help families select the most appropriate adoption arrangement. The book's main strength is that it doesn't just look at the initial considerations of adoption; it prepares you for the issues that will arise along the way.
When Jessie Hawkins’ adopted daughter told her she had another mom back in Ethiopia, Jessie didn’t, at first, know what to think. She’d wanted her adoption to be great story about a child who needed a home and got one, and a family led by God to adopt. Instead, she felt like she’d done something wrong. Adoption has long been enmeshed in the politics of reproductive rights, pitched as a “win-win” compromise in the never-ending abortion debate. But as Kathryn Joyce makes clear in The Child Catchers, adoption has lately become even more entangled in the conservative Christian agenda. To tens of millions of evangelicals, adoption is a new front in the culture wars: a test of “pro-life” bona fides, a way for born again Christians to reinvent compassionate conservatism on the global stage, and a means to fulfill the “Great Commission” mandate to evangelize the nations. Influential leaders fervently promote a new “orphan theology,” urging followers to adopt en masse, with little thought for the families these “orphans” may already have. Conservative evangelicals control much of that industry through an infrastructure of adoption agencies, ministries, political lobbying groups, and publicly-supported “crisis pregnancy centers,” which convince women not just to “choose life,” but to choose adoption. Overseas, conservative Christians preside over a spiraling boom-bust adoption market in countries where people are poor and regulations weak, and where hefty adoption fees provide lots of incentive to increase the “supply” of adoptable children, recruiting “orphans” from intact but vulnerable families. The Child Catchers is a shocking exposé of what the adoption industry has become and how it got there, told through deep investigative reporting and the heartbreaking stories of individuals who became collateral damage in a market driven by profit and, now, pulpit command. Anyone who seeks to adopt—of whatever faith or no faith, and however well-meaning—is affected by the evangelical adoption movement, whether they know it or not. The movement has shaped the way we think about adoption, the language we use to discuss it, the places we seek to adopt from, and the policies and laws that govern the process. In The Child Catchers, Kathryn Joyce reveals with great sensitivity and empathy why, if we truly care for children, we need to see more clearly.
The completely revised and updated edition of “the definitive guide to modern infant adoption” (Los Angeles Times).

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