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.
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.
Poignant, timeless, and compelling, this book should be required reading for every young woman considering adoption and its likely consequences.Published on December 27, 2003 by Richard Lindberg
A must read for any member of the adoption triad- or anyone who's life has been touched by adoption. Read morePublished on July 23, 2001
As an adoptive mother, I read this book looking for some insight into the mind of a birth mother. I had regular conversation with my child's birth mother before and after he was... Read morePublished on March 27, 2000
The only reason I give this book even two stars is that it's written by a birth mother, which is pretty unusual. Read morePublished on March 22, 2000