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May the Circle Be Unbroken: An Intimate Journey into the Heart of Adoption Paperback – January 21, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Authors Choice Press (January 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595340954
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595340958
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,096,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Lynn C. Franklin's memoir of giving a child up for adoption and the relationship she developed with her son later in life examines the complexities of the adoption process--which seems to be lifelong. Franklin, who spoke to her son's father only once after the birth, was a typical unmarried mother of the 1960s. Her son, Andrew, approached her in 1993 and they met a scant month after their first contact. In her book, Franklin uses her feelings about and relationship to Andrew as particular examples in a larger survey of adoption.

While Andrew firmly informed Franklin that he considered his mother to be the woman who raised him, a central point of the book is that adoptive families--like many families in a world where divorce and remarriage are common--are flexible, elastic institutions. Franklin, who is the only birth parent on the board of directors of an adoption agency, values her contact with adoptive parents on the board (as well as with Andrew's father and mother) because it helps all of them understand others' perspectives and break through the barriers of fear and ignorance that can isolate members of the "adoption triad." Franklin uses many excerpts from interviews with and writings by birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents. Ably assisted by freelance writer Elizabeth Ferber, she organizes these varied voices into a unified narrative that leads readers through each phase of the adoption process, which evolves over the lifetime of all the participants. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Franklin's memoir/study, written with the assistance of Ferber (Steven Spielberg), is in keeping with the current emphasis on open adoption, whereby members of the adoption "triad" (birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees) have contact with one another. In 1966, Franklin, pregnant, unmarried and under pressure from her parents, placed her newborn son, Andrew, with the Spence-Chapin adoption agency. In 1993, mother and son were reunited. Drawing on her own experience as well as on research and extensive interviews, Franklin strongly advocates assisting interested adoptees in searching for their birth parents. Even though reunions are not necessarily happy and the process is emotionally difficult for everyoneAmost often, especially the adoptive parentsAFranklin maintains that meeting one or both birth parents is a crucial step toward easing the adoptee's feelings of abandonment. Franklin's open adoption agenda can sometimes cloud her arguments. She admits that many who go abroad to adopt do so "because they do not want to deal with birth parents," but she counters with an unconvincingly categorical proof: "We know, however, that no matter how distant these birth parents may be, they continue to exist in the hearts and minds of the children." Franklin, a literary agent who now serves on the board of Spence-Chapin, covers a wide gamut of topics, from transracial adoption to the rights of birth fathers to the importance of support groups in helping triad members build cooperative rather than adversarial relationships. Ultimately, this is a helpful guide for readers already convinced of the wisdom of open adoption.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Lynn C. Franklin serves on the board of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute (www.adoptioninstitute.org). She lives in New York City, where she works as a literary agent.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dawn LoBue on July 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As an adoptee fortunate enough to find her birthparents (and therefore being familiar with all aspects of the triad), I found Lynn C. Franklin's book excellent. I have read many books about adoption, this one outshines them all. It was not overly clinical or statistical and was written with compassion, heart and objectivity. Adoption is such a complex topic, this is not an accomplishment to be taken lightly. Ms. Franklin's candid personal reflections of the search for her son stirred emotions deep within this reader and in my opinion brings greater understanding to everyone who has been touched by adoption or is interested in the subject. She gives voice to birthparents, adoptees and adoptive parents and their struggles with depth and kindness and backs it up with facts and experience. I am grateful to her for her efforts.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a successfully reunited adoptee who is close to her parents and her birthmother, I find that adoption literature often lacks full perspective. Adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents are portrayed in many cases as beleaguered heroes/heroines, pathetic victims or manipulative and uncaring villians.
"May the Circle be Unbroken" provides a more realistic view, fully considering what each member of the triad experiences at the time of placement and at the time of search and (possibly) reunion. It presents a clear, mature and sane description of what one might encounter during different stages of the triad's lifetime. The birthmother author presents a fully-realized description of her own agony at relinquishment without slipping into self-pity. She has a strong grasp on the feelings of the adoptee and adoptive parent as well, yet she acknowledges that everyone's experience is different. Theories (such as the "Primal Wound") are presented as conjecture and possibility rather than fact.
The firm grounding provided by this clear-eyed presentation could be extraordinarily useful to help birthmothers to heal, to aid adoptive parents in understanding the challenges they may face and to prepare all three "sides" to cope with the unexpected joys and traumas assoociated with search and reunion. Franklin helps each person touched by adoption by arming them with a full perspective and letting them know that they are not alone.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am both an adoptee and a birthmother. I recently started reading every book about adoption I can get my hands on. My adoptive mother has read this book too and it has helped both her and me to understand some of the things that bothered me while I was growing up.
I gave my daughter up in an open adoption and I'm sending her adoptive parents a copy of this book to help them understand some of her concerns and thoughts about being an adoptee. I'm also hoping it will help their family understand why I have such a hard time staying in touch with them.
This is by far the most informative book I've read and would recommend it to any adoptee, birthmother, adoptive family or anyone thinking about adopting a child.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Thanks for a well-researched, well-written, and very informative book. As an adoptive parent, I have been looking for something like this to give my family and friends that would explain the numerous issues involved in a way that is both educational and helpful. And as my 9 yr old daughter gets older, your book will offer help as well to her and my wife and as we wrestle with what to tell her. (We had an open adoption and have told our daughter from the earliest time that she is adopted.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mi Ok Song Bruining (skidding@hotmail.com) on May 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a Korean adopted woman who was adopted into the U.S. in the 1960s, I also experienced similar but different shame & secrecy that muffles & stifles members of the adoption triad. I commend Ms. Franklin's courage & willingness to share her story of loss & triumph, so that others may learn & understand birth mothers, adoptees & also adoptive parents in the adoption triad experience. I hope that Ms. Franklin will continue writing, speaking & educating others about the joy & love, as well as the pain, sorrow & loss of adoption.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Clare McCarty on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Lynn Franklin touches on all sides of the triad in this book. It really gave me some insight into my true feelings on being adopted. My adoptive mother, and birth mother have all read it and loved it.
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