In Parents at Last: Celebrating Adoption and the New Pathways to Parenthood
, authors Cynthia V. N. Peck and Wendy Wilkinson and photographer Helen Kolikow Garber lift the veil of secrecy from the highly emotional process of adoption and high-tech babymaking. Here are portraits--in both words and pictures--of parents who became parents through alternative means, including adoption, high-tech conception and birth, stepparenting, and foster parenting. Adoptive parents themselves (Peck has adopted seven children and raised nine, and Wilkinson is the mother of an adopted daughter), the authors effectively cull the words of veterans of infertility treatments and adoption struggles to create scenes of joy. Focusing a few short pages on each family, Peck and Wilkinson glean the essential story, translating into words the emotional impact of becoming a family through extraordinary means. The stories range from the "special" (an infertile couple who uses a sister's donor eggs and births quadruplets; the single mom who adopts seven children) to the more "ordinary" (a single father of two adopted Chinese children; a couple with their long-awaited adopted child). Garber's accompanying photos portray 32 families in celebration, all expressing relief and delight at having faced Lady Luck's worst, thrown the dice again, and won. --Ericka Lutz
From the Inside Flap
For some, parenthood comes easily; for others, the path to parenthood is long and paved with challenges, not only physical but emotional and financial as well. In words and photographs, Parents at Last
celebrates 32 couples and individuals who persevered in their quest to become parents, often in the face of formidable odds.
These parents used any and every means available to them in order to bring a child into their lives, from adoption, both international and domestic, to high-tech medical procedures and even surrogacy. Their first-person narratives, accompanied by Helen Garber's revealing photographs, share both the highs and the lows they encountered on their journeys.
"In the Beginning" looks at new parents, those for whom the memories of infertility, bureaucratic red tape, or the difficulties of single parenthood are still vivid, though tempered by the joy and excitement of their new arrival. "The Wonder Years" offers stories from families that have had a bit more time to reflect on the changes they experienced, and are beginning to grapple with some of the questions that inevitably arise around
adoptive and medically assisted pregnancies. "In the Parenting Trenches" recounts the experiences of families with older children, and how parents cope with the dual challenges of adolescence and a family structure seen as different by much of the outside world. Lastly, "Pioneers Share Their Wisdom" focuses on those who have successfully seen their children to adulthood and the profound life lessons theyve learned along the way.
Whether they chose adoption, sophisticated medical procedures, or even surrogacy, the individuals
profiled in Parents at Last
speak candidly of the obstacles and rewards they encountered in their roles as new parents. Their moving stories are sure to offer hope and encouragement to all those on their own paths to parenthood.
For anyone who has ever struggled to build the family of their dreams, or been touched by that struggle, the unique stories of the 32 families collected here are an inspiration. These movingly honest accounts, some told from the flush of new
parenthood, others offering the perspective made possible by years or even decades in the parenting trenches, confront the challenges and celebrate the pleasures of the new paths to parenthood.