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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An LDA adoptee's review of Late Discoveries by Susan Bennett, September 27, 2011
This review is from: Late Discoveries: An Adoptee's Quest for Truth (Paperback)
In her recent book, Late Discoveries, Fithian Press, 2011, Susan Bennett deftly captures her experience discovering her adoption status late in life - a situation more and more common for older adoptees. Each late discovery story is unique, as is hers, yet have universal components of shock, denial, and other elements of dealing with the added trauma of realizing what you have always believed about your identity is a lie. Balancing her feelings of loyalty and gratitude to her adopted mother at her death, coupled with this radical disclosure, is no small feat. Susan is graced with compassion towards her mom yet anger towards the fact she was lied to by her, tackling each feeling in an appropriate time and place. Genuine love and devotion, the struggle to forgive, and victory over one's negative feelings oozes out between the lines of this compassionate book, which is a great read not only for adoptees but for anyone who would like a deeper understanding of an adoptee's journey of disclosure as an adult.

Discovering her birth family and dying to the hope of a perfect reunion are also sensitively written. Usually children are only given up in grave, dysfunctional situations. Susan learns her story, piece by piece, and has some very meaningful yet difficult reunions, mostly via phone, with the members of her family of origin, as she comes face-to-face with the details of challenging beginnings. Late Discoveries will find its rightful place in the long line of adoption memoirs, providing an insightful and honest look at Susan's late discovery and her first year of disclosure and reunion, a successful beginning to integrate her new identity by making peace with her adopted family, her new birth family, and her pre-adoption history.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 13, 2012 2:10:12 PM PDT
Dana Seilhan says:
"Usually children are only given up in grave, dysfunctional situations."

Not necessarily true. Oftentimes they're given up because the mother's made to believe, through cultural pressure, that she's in a grave dysfunctional situation when she just needs some help to get herself going. A teenaged mother will eventually turn twenty. A single mother usually gets married sooner or later. A poor mother could, potentially, get a job or get a better job or go to school for improved employment qualifications (and then get a better job). Most problems cited as reasons for child surrender are surmountable--but society doesn't want to be bothered helping mothers surmount them.

To say that all or nearly all mothers who relinquish are "dysfunctional" is to blame them for the relinquishment when they are not on an equal footing, power-wise, with society or the adoption industry, or potential adopters for that matter. The vast majority of them wouldn't even be relinquishing if they weren't terrified of failing as mothers--and that right there should tell you they were fit, if they'd just had the resources.
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