This short book deconstructs the industry and acknowledges the families left behind. Has the global push for adoption exploited mothers worldwide?
It has been over a century since the practice of adoption was introduced. While it seems that it has been a highly beneficial practice that has helped children grow in better environments and live better lives, there is a lot of information that parents looking to give their children up, adopting parents, and even adoptees should know about the practice; information that has been buried beneath the surface. In Adoption: What You Should Know, Rev. Dr. Janine Myung Ja, the cofounder of Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide Information Network (ATTWIN), brings this information to light, including the sealing of records that prevents contact between biological parents and children, the different tricks employed by adoption agencies to tag parents as unfit, and even the psychological issues that children develop from the loss of Identity they suffer.
I have always seen the practice of adoption as a force for good, but I have to say that this eye-opening piece has created a lot of doubt about the self-regulated adoption agencies that exist today. The author is an adoptee and has a lot of relevant experience with regards to the cracks in this industry and their devastating effects, but the highlight of this piece is the author’s execution and presentation of the facts that support her statements about the adoption industry. The book is well researched. Links to several videos capturing various scandals that show that adoption has only been practiced for financial reasons by these agencies are included. Also, the book is heavy on excerpts from other books, like Empty Cradles by Margaret Humphreys, Orphan Trains by Stephen O’Connor, The Baby Thief by Barbara Bisantz Raymond, and How to Adopt a Child (1956) by Ernest and Frances Cady. The information from these books was vital to expose the scare tactics and tricks that have been employed by the agencies in collecting and trading children. The role of religious organizations in this neglected violation of human rights is also documented.
Starting from the early days in the industry, the author highlights how international adoption from the United Kingdom to several other countries began and spread to America, Africa, and Asia. I like that different people’s stories and interviews are included at different points of the book to bring life to the author’s statements, especially when detailing the negative psychological effects on children and parents of closed adoptions. It was disgusting to see that most adoptive parents promise to and allow contact between the children and their biological parents, but they go on to cut them off after a “honeymoon period.” Even worse, when the children become adults and choose to get access to their records to find their parents, they are discouraged by different means.
Adoption: What You Should Know is an exceptionally well-edited book. I did not find any errors while reading, and the author’s message is simple and clear while she employs a passionate tone that will keep readers engaged throughout. I cannot think of anything to dislike about this book.”
All things considered, I rate Adoption: What You Should Know 4 out 4 stars. The book is a mind-blowing read, considering that I have never thought about the adoption industry in this light. The evidence presented here is also overwhelming. As hinted earlier, parents looking to give their children up, adopting parents, and adoptees will learn a lot from reading this piece. Readers who love exposés will enjoy reading this book too.” — Reviewer