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Customer Review

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for My Daughters..., March 8, 2004
This review is from: Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China (Hardcover)
Reviewed by the author of "At Home in This World, a China Adoption Story" (EMK Press, 2003):
"Wanting A Daughter, Needing A Son" is a snapshot in time of the socio-political circumstances leading to the abandonment and international adoption of thousands of China's daughters. The facts and statistics that Dr. Johnson cites as part of her research, reflect a complex Catch-22 of a patrilineal society moving from desperate economic survival towards prosperity, and of population laws and policies that are unevenly policed and out of sync with the current emotional lives of Chinese parents.
"Wanting A Daughter, Needing A Son" is not a band-aid; it's truth won't banish our children's feelings of loss, or give adoptive parents the kind of explanations that would allow us to put a loving or heroic spin on the sad act of abandonment. But Dr Johnson's important work broadens the China adoption picture, gives it depth, and hands us the knowledge our children will eventually need in order to comprehend the complicated facets of their own Chinese/American/adoptee identity. Kay Ann Johnson's research uncovers the surprising fact that many thousands of abandoned Chinese babies actually do find happy homes (legally and illegally) within their own communities, despite our previous understanding of the one-child policy and domestic Chinese adoption. In an added twist, our children may someday realize that they have "adoptee peers" in China, who grew up in loving families with Chinese adoptive parents, and without the associated alienation of cross-cultural, trans-racial adoption that our China girls and boys must learn to live with here in the USA.
Dr. Johnson's interviews and statistics also tell us that the majority of our children most likely have a sibling or two living in China with our child's family of origin- bittersweet data that may someday provide a genetic connection for adult adoptees seeking birth information. I am appreciative of Dr. Johnson's illuminating research on a subject so close to my heart, and grateful to have her book to share with my daughters in the future. "Wanting A Daughter, Needing A Son" will be a solid resource for them in teen- and adulthood, and will help them to intellectually understand the time and place, cultural mentality, and forces of power that spun their young lives halfway around the world.
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