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Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents,and Adoptive... Paperback – June 1, 1994


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Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents,and Adoptive... + The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child + Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self (Anchor Book)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140512950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140512953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #428,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

An adoptee offers compassionate and comprehensive guidance to locating "adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents." Strauss proceeds from the view that seeking reunion with relatives estranged by adoption is a good thing, and she marshals impressive reasoning and evidence to support her case. She discusses the laws that make adoption records confidential in the introduction and thereby sets the stage for the search strategies that follow. As Strauss points out, the history of adoption is neither simple nor consistent, and the nature of adoption today is very different from what it was when present adoption laws were enacted. The more a searcher understands the nature of adoption practices and laws, she says, the more likely his or her search is to succeed. Strauss interweaves the story of the search for her own birthparents with the strategies for finding birth relatives, and whether or not one agrees with the practice of adoptees or birthparents initiating searches for lost relatives, she tells that personal story compellingly. Thus, Strauss' effort offers considerable insight into the motivations of a particular adoptee as it encourages and counsels others wishing to undertake such a search themselves. Mike Tribby

About the Author

Jean A. S. Strauss is the wife of a college president and the author of Birthright (Penguin) and lives in Claremont, California.

More About the Author

Jean Strauss is a New York Times best-selling author, legislative activist, and documentary filmmaker. With her film, "ADOPTED: for the life of me", she marries her twin passions of adoption reform and filmmaking.

A graduate of UC Berkeley and USC, wife of a college president and mother of two grown sons, she began making documentary films at the age of 50. Her short films won numerous award and accolades, and were included in prestigious screenings from American Cinematheque's annual "Women in Shorts" which displays emerging women directors, to the San Diego Cinema Society's "A Year in Shorts." Her books include Penguin's "Birthright: the Guide to Search and Reunion", and the NYTimes bestseller, "Forever Liesl: a memoir of The Sound of Music".

She is currently working on two new films, as well as a novel, that has been 'in progress' for several years.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book was informative and practical.
Lilybean
You could get a book that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside or you could get a book that gets to the heart of the matter and tells you like it is.
Rachel Kind
Be ready for it you will read your own thoughts in this book.
sheryl kent

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Anticipating my own reunion as an adoptee, I devoured this book in about 2 days. It confirmed many of my personal feelings and gave voice to my own experience as an adoptee. It has also taught me to understand and be sensitive to issues my birthparents are/might be dealing with that I could not have anticipated. Two things about this book for which I am most grateful to the author: 1) the conglomeration of experiences of 70 different people representing all three sides of the adoption triad. This helped me to understand what issues are common to the adoption/adoption reunion process and to feel better prepared to (hopefully) handle my own reunion with "informed" grace. 2) a very clear, easy to understand outline of the five emotional stages of the adoption reunion process. I didn't realize it would be a process or how involved this could be emotionally for all concerned, but how much sense it makes! I have learned from this book that all parties concerned should allow themselves and each other the time they need to heal and adjust to each other. That the process will hurt but bring healing to all involved. That there will be a blessing through the pain. I am grateful for the way this book has equipped me to begin to handle this process. I am buying copies for all involved in my reunion. Thank you, Ms. Strauss, for you labor of love!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
I am a birthmother in the 18th month of my reunion with my birthson, and have read probably 15 - 20 books on the subject of adoption, just to try to get a better understanding of where the adoptee, the adoptive parents and the birthparents are all coming from. They all have a something to add to this very unique experience, but many left a lot to be desired. I found this book to be well grounded, well written and thought it had tremendous insight into the very emotional stages of reunion, and think it would benefit all connected to adoption. I wish I had found this book a year ago! Betsy
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book before starting a search for my birthmother. I found the chapters on search techniques well written and invaluable during my research. I used this book as my primary reference. I have now found my birthmother and am dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of the reunion process. I have read the chapters on reunions over and over to try and understand what my birthmother is feeling during this process. I would highly recommend this book. It is obviously written by someone who has lived the experience.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
Our daughter used this book as a resource when she did her own Search. I read it and was amazed at what a 'complete' book it is. It focuses on every aspect of an adoptee's search. There are chapters for the birthparents, the adoptee, the adoptive parents, etc. There are many, many 'testimonials' included, positive, neutral and negative, from adoptees, adoptive parents, birthparents, regarding searches.
I highly recommend this book to any adoptee who is considering doing their own Search, to any adoptive parent whose child is searching, to any adoptive parent whose child has already done their search, and to any birthparent in that situation.
There truly is something for everyone.
(I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because nothing's perfect.)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By krountre@yahoo.com on July 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
I had already found my birthparents when my birthmother brought this compelling book to my attention. There's a chapter dealing with the issue of "what to call" the new members of your family and it really hits home! This is also one of the only books that talks about birthfathers. I am desperate for literature on that subject and it reads nicely.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ohio Adoptee on October 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading "The Girls Who Went Away" by Ann Fessler and I'm glad I did. It really brings the subject of adoption full circle by telling the stories from all sides of the coin. But it also gives A Lot of starting points and next steps for people to use while doing their own search. My brother and I are both adoptees. I found my birth mother over 16 years ago but she had died in a car accident 6 months after I was born. Took me 15 more years to find my birth father. Both finding my birth mother and birth father were purely the grace of God because I had absolutely nothing to go on. My brother recently asked me to help him locate his birth parents and I'm so glad I purchased this book. Not only for the large quantity of resources it lists, but so I can also prepare him for the many different outcomes he may experience. I can also add, that by reading this book, it has been an emotional rollercoaster. Being able to relate to so many feelings, stories, dreams has really been healing in a lot of ways. Knowing there are so many people out there with similar emotions due to being adopted has been comforting in some strange way. I'd have to say one of my favorite parts of the book is when it talks about how society continues to view the adopted child as just that, a child. Society never took into account that we, as adopted children, would grow up to become contributing adults who have every right to know about ourselves, where we came from and everything pertaining to our lives. I guess if I had to pick one word to explain how this book made me feel it would be EMPOWERED.
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