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In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories Paperback – June 15, 2000
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This book is the story of every person who has lived in an environment in which he or she didn't quite fit.... Yet, while the stories in the book are universal, they are also deeply personal and incredibly touching. You cannot read this book without being changed.(Lifelines)
Extremely informative and emotionally compelling.(Social Work in Health Care)
This much needed study brings hard facts and personal experiences to bear on an important subject too often dominated by dogmas and arrogance. It is a breath of fresh air in the fetid atmosphere of racial politics.(Thomas Sowell, Stanford University)
No one has contributed more useful empirical research on interracial adoption than Professor Rita Simon and her associates. In Their Own Voices is an important supplement to that scholarly tradition that will further illuminate one of the most interesting corners of race relations in American life. The stories told in this collection are fascinating, poignant, enlightening, inspiring. They deserve a broad audience.(Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School)
This book's suggestion that American families find it easier to adopt children from other countries than to adopt transracially within this country is saddening. This is particularly so when we see hundreds of black children moved from one foster home to another. Those of us who believe in transracial adoptions owe Ms. Simon and Ms. Roorda a continuing debt of gratitude.(Former Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum, author of the Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994)
In Their Own Voices sheds light on a very complex and controversial debate. The debate would be richer and wiser if those who seek to defend or condemn transracial adoption read this book first. It should be required reading for anyone who is thinking of adopting or has adopted a child from another race.(Barbara Davidson, civil rights advocate and adoptive mother)
At a time when a post-racial society remains an elusive fantasy, In Their Voices is indispensable. This book represents the dinner party I wish my parents had thrown―full of interesting African-Americans whose wisdom I now know reflects my own experience. Whether formed through adoption or marriage, multiracial families looking for tools to raise healthy children of color will find Roorda's latest contribution to be a valuable resource.(Phil Bertelsen)
Top Customer Reviews
1) A brief section on the academic research and political arguments on transracial adoption, written by a social science researcher; and
2) Interviews with women and men, conducted by an adult transracial adoptee; all interviews are with black Americans
As a potential adoptive parent, I found the book informative, particularly in how the interviewees reconciled their identities. Some interviewees have experienced severe identity issues exacerbated by adoption, some of their stresses were similar to challenges that most black people face in the U.S., and some of the interviewees don't seem to have had race or adoption be much of a hurdle in their lives. A common recommendation that interviewees make is that white parents of black children should make sure that their children have black peers--even if those peers are also transracially adopted--and that the children will long to be connected with black culture at some point so connecting them with the culture associated with their racial background from the beginning makes the most sense.
My main criticism is that the interviewer inserts her life and interests into the discussions so much that her leading questions make you wonder what people would have said if the interviewer had been able to be more neutral. There also is not much of a discussion of how the women interviewed seem to have much more in the way of identity issues overall than do the men. Does this mean that black males have an easier time raised by white parents than do females? This contrasts with my understanding that, overall, black women have an easier time being successful in school and later in the job market than do black men, for reasons of culture and discrimination.
There is only one area in which I feel the author's fell short. For example, many of the bi-racial adoptee's would say that they were not accepted by some/many people in the black community. However, I felt the authors failed to be clear on whether that rejection was based on the fact that the adoptee's were bi-racial or that they had white parents(or perhaps both)- two very different issue's as I see it- both with their own set of responsibilites.
I also wish they would have had a clear profile of each person at the beginning of each chapter. For instance, it would be nice to know up front the race of the adoptee, the race of the parents, the age of the adoptee at interview(without having to do my own story problem to find the answer)etc. I'm also interested in knowing how -if at all- the views of children adopted internationally are different than children adopted domestically.
I will say that when I read the chapter about the girl (I forget her name right now) who was so estranged from the black community because of the lack of effort her white parents put forth on her behalf to keep her tied to her roots - I wept. How utterly tragic for this young woman to be faced with such an identity crisis. We owe these children so much more than just our love and guidence. We owe them their past as well as their future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A must read for all transracial adoptive parents and their children.Published 22 days ago by Ed Kruis
If you have or are considering transracial adoption, this is the book for you!Published 8 months ago by Tonya Dixon
This excellent book is a must read for every adoptive parent, helpful for any, in my opinion, but especially those who have adopted transracially. Read morePublished 18 months ago by titushome
I read this part of our mandatory 30 hours of pre-adoptive education. It was interesting, insightful, and helped to widen my perspective on race. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by KayElle
It really takes you out of yourself and gives you another viewpoint on the world. Each person and situation is unique but there are patterns and commonalities.Published on July 15, 2013 by D. Howie
The book came quickly and as described. All expectations in buying this book were met. I would purchase a book from this vendor in the future.Published on May 25, 2012 by Fran
This 392 page book begins with an informative study for and against transracial adoption by Rita Simon (the first 27 pages) and the remaining pages consist of the transcribed... Read morePublished on February 21, 2011 by SR
I think anyone who has adopted transracially or is considering it should read this book. Very eye opening. It is a great book that has changed my life.Published on September 9, 2010 by Crystal
This book was truly life-changing for me. I am a strong democrat and I have always been supportive of human rights & issues related to the left. Read morePublished on September 23, 2008 by L. Hougland