Its been a while since I’ve reviewed any books! Goodness, must get back on that bandwagon.
My overall impression is positive. The book is an introduction and argument for open adoption. Not semi-open, but open. The authors are attempting to overcome ‘myths’ common in American society about adoption and offer a new definition of adoption.
The authors suffer from the common problem of imprecise language. At one point the authors state ‘the fourth myth is also designed…” The myths are designed??? As in someone sat down, thought it out and said, ‘ya know, I think these are the things about adoption I want American’s to believe’. I don’t think the authors really mean ‘design’, that just seems absurd. But if they don’t, why did they use that word?
I found myself very put out by the ‘myths’ that American’s believe about adoption. I know that we (Hubby and I) tend to be rather counter-cultural in some areas, but I think the general myths are a bit outdated. The first myth says a birthmother/parent doesn’t care. If she didn’t care, she’d just abort the baby. End of story. But she choose to carry the baby to term — she cares. The second myth says it all needs to be kept secret, but the need for secrecy just isn’t there any more. Adoption isn’t what it was in the late 90s and with a growing number of inter-racial adoption its impossible to keep the adoption a secret — its a bit obvious! Myth 3 (birthparents forget) and 4 (adoptees searching for birthparents doesn’t mean they don’t love the adoptive parents) might still hold as myths, I don’t know, so I withhold judgement on those.
Now, beyond that section, I found the book helpful to my own thinking. I realized I had a few notions that were inaccurate, e.g. that NO ONE could love my child as much as I do (sans all context). And the authors did a good job at showing me the need for birthparents/mothers to remain a part of the child’s life and that I, as an adoptive parent, shouldn’t be afraid or intimidated by a birthmom’s presence. A birthmom (and dad) have walked into this decision voluntarily and have reasons for believing this is the best option.
I really liked the ‘new’ definition of adoption that the authors present. It accounts for a great deal that I hadn’t thought about before. I let you read the book to learn what this new definition is.