Mental Health Care and Learning Disabilities.
Would that there had been such a book when our sons were little, especially when we added a seven year old with emotional and behavioral difficulties to the family. I hope that everyone involved in adoption will be aware of the existence of this book, since it covers the actual experience of adoption form every aspect... Those who have contributed to this rich collection of personal experiences have been generous in sharing their hopes and fears: the good moments and the moments of utter despair and even failure... Like any book that is a compendium of writings, it would be easy to imagine that people, for whom adoption was a painful experience, would not have a voice here. This might be true to some extent but there are accounts of adoptions that failed, and times when tracing a birth-parent did not bring complete happiness. There are stories that might have been painful to write but can shed light on what it means to be an aopder or an adoptee, such as the story of the family whose badly damaged son suddenly seemed to thrive, and went on to become a successful business and family man, only to committ suicide at 27. This book should be required reading for all social workers, teachers, would be adopters, adopters and their doctors. For years adoption was a family secret for the birth-mother and the adopters. Now we are passed that stage it is important that the stories be heard.
The most appealing aspect of this book is that it consists of actual stories from actual adopters, incorporating every part of the adoption process from the 'short moment of pure joy and excitement for most potential adopters when they first decide that they want to adopt' to their feelings about their children seeking a reunion with their natural families or simply leaving home. The accounts, taken from this very journal over the past 10 years, have a rare honesty about them, resulting in an unadulterated insight into both the joys and the nightmares that adoption can bring. It is for this reason that I would describe it as a must for anyone considering adoption - including professionals - whose life has already been touched by adoption. Read from start to finish, it is as compelling as any novel, but the way the accounts are separated into themes such as "You want to adopt" and "Telling, tracing and the need to know more" - each with an introduction by the editor - also makes it a volume that can be accessed as a reference book.
This collection of first hand experiences of adoption has been compiled by Adoption UK. It is aimed primarily at adopters and prospective adopters and has the express aim of encouraging those who are thinking about adoption to consider it more seriously. However, it will be of general interest and offers an engaging and informative read for anyone interested in the adoption process and the issues it raises. Adoption UK believe that all children have a right to a family life, and lament the number of children who still wait for suitable adopters- particularly black children, older white children and children with disabilities. Through adopters own experiences the book covers the decision to adopt and the process of adoption, the adoption of school children and adolescents, children with a physical or learning disability, children who have been abused, adoption by single parents and gay couples and race and adoptions.