Information is Power. Adopted people are diverse individuals with differing points of view, yet have been stigmatized into one type of people by the industry leaders. Even though we come from various backgrounds, we’ve been stereotyped as if all of us are somehow ungrateful if we don’t show enough appreciation, labeled as if having Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) when we don’t bond as expected, or too negative when we push for answers. This little book proves that we are an assorted population with varying backgrounds, and we should not be reduced to the label of anti-this or anti-that when we ask questions—questions that make industry leaders uncomfortable. Rather, we should be given the right to ask questions about our background and even gain access to our adoption documents when we inquire.
This extra-short read packs a powerful punch against a lucrative industry that continues to place profits over people and has thrived as if God spoke to the “child rescuers” to save children and punish “unwed moms.” Adoption Stories proves that we are diverse, strong, and sensible—that we are smarter than the industry professionals have given us credit for. Read this short book and gain the knowledge you need to generate the right questions for your own situation. Even though the adoption agencies hope we stay complacent and satisfied with where they placed us, we have the right to ask questions—even if it makes them uncomfortable. We should have the right to know if we have blood-related sisters and brothers, aunts, or uncles. Our own children should have the right to know who their grandparents are. None of us should have to go to our graves without having the opportunity to develop friendships with our next-of-kin—if we so wish.
“The admittedly concise collection of short articles compiled by Janine Myung Ja in the booklet Adoption Stories, while meant to introduce readers to the often-volatile subject of Adoptee Rights, actually delivers a huge and revealing punch way beyond its modestly stated agenda of presenting the alternative point-of-view to the more commonly accepted wisdom stated by professional adoptive institutions. The author is an active, compassionate voice for adoptees in general, asserting their basic and essential human rights – especially the right to be heard. One such revealing counterpoint of view: “Wisdom gained from experiences like hers provide evidence that poverty-stricken children do not have to be taken out of their dire situation, or nation of birth, to be happy.”
Including personal background information as well as story excerpts from other interested parties, Janine Myung Ja does not resort to angry diatribe in Adoptees. Rather, she presents a compelling, rational, highly-researched foundation for advocating an evolutionary appraisal of the adoption world, followed by an equal inclusion of adoptee voices in creating positive change in the system… Prepare to have your comfortable preconceptions challenged. Plan to be grateful for these highly illustrative writings of Janine Myung Ja.” Reviewed by JOEL R. DENNSTEDT
“Janine writes about her journey of discovery in a relaxed, conversational style, in a present tense first person voice, and this draws the reader into the conversation. The style is immediate and immersive. Janine’s love for her adoptive parents is very clear. …Subsequent chapters are contributed by adoptees, also writing in the first person, and this enables the reader to feel as if they are sitting having a chat with the person relating their story…
Janine advocates for the right of adoptees to retain their own documentation, not to have their previous existence ‘wiped out’ by the stroke of a bureaucratic pen… Janine calls upon adoptees and readers, in fact, to trust themselves and their instincts, to open their minds and to value themselves, not to look to others for validation. …Janine is a staunch and passionately vocal advocate for the rights of adoptees… This book will make you reconsider what you thought you knew about adoption. “ ~ Reviewed by FIONA INGRAM
“Janine Myung Ja’s Adoption Stories, is an informative and revealing book that deals with the social issue of inter-country adoption. An adoptee herself, the author certainly knows what she’s writing about. This is a book that tries to collect the various stories of adopted children from Korea, Africa, India and other countries, ending up in cultures and countries that are a world apart from where they originally come from. It also exposes the problematic adoption system that leaves some adoptees deprived of their basic human rights. Designed to inform all adoptees of their emotional and legal rights, this book tackles an issue that is mostly neglected by lawmakers from all over the world. And these are highly interesting and revealing stories that the whole world should know about!” Reviewed by MARIA BELTRAN
This is a book that looks at an entirely different side of the world of adoption. While many people think that they are saving these children, who would otherwise be entirely unwanted or neglected, there is an epidemic of adoption trafficking and children who have been ripped from the arms of loving and caring parents for a completely new life. The stories of these children and what their lives have become, whether with a healthy and happy home or a traumatic and dangerous one, are stories that need to be told…” Reviewed by SAMANTHA DEWITT (RIVERA)