Including More Than 450 Adoptee-Recommended Titles!

Books About Birth Families

  • A Ghost at Heart’s Edge: Stories and Poems of Adoption

    A Ghost at Heart’s Edge: Stories and Poems of Adoption

    Edited by Susan Ito and Tina Cervin

    Sixty short stories and poems reveal the sometimes heartbreaking, often affirming tales of adoption. Written from the point of view of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees, this unique anthology spans nations and cultures. Editors: Susan Ito, Tina Cervin Adoptee Authors: Mi Ok Song Bruining, Lisa Buchanan,…

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  • Adoption Healing: A Path to Recovery for Mothers Who Lost Children to Adoption

    Adoption Healing: A Path to Recovery for Mothers Who Lost Children to Adoption

    by Joe Soll, CSW, and Karen Wilson Buterbaugh

    The reader is provided with a description of the immaculate deception imposed on pregnant women and the ensuing tragedy of the loss of their babies to adoption and the profound effects on their lives. This is followed by different methods of healing the mother’s wounds,…

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  • Adoption Healing: A Path to Recovery–Articles, etc.

    Adoption Healing: A Path to Recovery–Articles, etc.

    by Joe Soll, LCSW

    This addition to the Adoption Healing series is a compilation of all the articles that I have been asked to write in the last year, plus more than a half dozen chapters with totally new material. The articles address specific issues faced by adoptees and…

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  • Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age

    Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age

    Edited by Laura Dennis

    This anthology gives voice to the wide experiences of adoptees and those who love them; examining the emotional, psychological and logistical effects of adoption reunion. Primarily adult adoptee voices, we also hear from adoptive parents, first moms and mental health professionals, all weighing in on…

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  • Adoption Unfiltered: Revelations from Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Allies

    Adoption Unfiltered: Revelations from Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Parents, and Allies

    by Sara Easterly, Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard, and Lori Holden

    Adoption Unfiltered authors Sara Easterly (adoptee), Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard (birth parent), and Lori Holden (adoptive parent) interview dozens of adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, social workers, therapists, and other allies–all sharing candidly about the challenges in adoption. While finding common ground in the sometimes-contentious…

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  • Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists

    Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists

    Edited by Janine Myung Ja, Michael Allen Potter, and Allen L. Vance

    This anthology begins with personal accounts and then shifts to a bird’s eye view on adoption from domestic, intercountry and transracial adoptees who are now adoptee rights activists. Along with adopted people, this collection also includes the voices of mothers and a father from the…

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  • American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption

    American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption

    by Gabrielle Glaser

    During the Baby Boom in 1960s America, women were encouraged to stay home and raise large families, but sex and childbirth were taboo subjects. Premarital sex was common, but birth control was hard to get and abortion was illegal. In 1961, sixteen-year-old Margaret Erle fell…

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  • Family Resemblance: Finding Yourself in Others

    Family Resemblance: Finding Yourself in Others

    by Eric Mueller

    Family Resemblance is a multiyear photo project that documents and celebrates people who are genetically related and bear a strong resemblance to each other. As an adopted person, photographer Eric Mueller always wondered how it would feel to look like someone else. At age forty-five,…

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  • Finding Faith: A Memoirish Novel (The Birth-Fathers’ Club Series)

    Finding Faith: A Memoirish Novel (The Birth-Fathers’ Club Series)

    by Michele Kriegman

    Like a twisting double helix of DNA, these two satisfying stories of compelling and complex father-daughter pairs entwine with life-altering surprises. They bring compassion, humor, and understanding to the question of whether it is ever too late for paternal instinct. Each year thousands of men…

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  • Finding Fernanda: Two Mothers, One Child, and a Cross-Border Search for Truth

    Finding Fernanda: Two Mothers, One Child, and a Cross-Border Search for Truth

    by Erin Siegal

    The dramatic story of how an American housewife discovered that the Guatemalan child she was about to adopt had been stolen from her birth mother. Over the last decade, nearly 200,000 children have been adopted into the United States, 25,000 of whom came from Guatemala. Finding…

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  • Forbidden Love

    Forbidden Love

    by Lisa Jones Gentry as told by Joe Steele

    Forbidden Love is the true story of Father William Grau, a black Catholic priest, and Sister Sophie Legocki, a white Polish-American nun who, in the segregated fifties, defied the church and society with their passionate secret love affair that lasted for nearly a decade and…

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  • Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry through DNA Testing

    Guide to DNA Testing: How to Identify Ancestors, Confirm Relationships, and Measure Ethnic Ancestry through DNA Testing

    by Richard Hill

    The price of some powerful new genetic genealogy tests has dropped below $100. Genealogists and adoptees are using them and other DNA tests to identify ancestors, confirm relationships, and measure their ethnicity. Unfortunately, there are many similar sounding tests and some of them have different…

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  • Heartlines: The Year I Met My Other Mother

    Heartlines: The Year I Met My Other Mother

    by Susannah McFarlane and Robin Leuba

    In 1965, Robin, unmarried and pregnant, comes to Melbourne to give birth and give her baby up for adoption, then returns to Perth to resume her life having never seen her baby. After 10 days alone, the baby is taken home, named Susannah, and made…

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  • I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children

    I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children

    Edited by Sara Dorow

    A collection of anonymous letters written by Korean birth mothers to the children they relinquished for adoption. The mothers were helped by the Ae Ran Won agency in Seoul, Korea, which provides a temporary home to unmarried pregnant women before and after they give birth.…

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  • Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited

    Identical Strangers: A Memoir of Twins Separated and Reunited

    by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein

    Elyse Schein had always known she was adopted, but it wasn’t until her mid-thirties while living in Paris that she searched for her biological mother. What she found instead was shocking: She had an identical twin sister. What’s more, after being separated as infants, she…

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  • In My Heart: The Adoption Story Project

    In My Heart: The Adoption Story Project

    by Alan Berks and Leah Cooper; illustrated by Becca Hart

    BACKGROUND: In My Heart: The Adoption Story Project began in 2014 in collaboration with 200+ people in the adoption community sharing their true stories with Wonderlust Productions. In 2016, the play, written and directed by Alan Berks and Leah Cooper, was performed to enthusiastic, sold-out audiences at…

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  • Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries: A Campaign for Justice

    Ireland and the Magdalene Laundries: A Campaign for Justice

    by Claire McGettrick, Katherine O’Donnell, Maeve O’Rourke, James M. Smith, and Mari Steed

    Between 1922 and 1996, over 10,000 girls and women were imprisoned in Magdalene Laundries, including those considered ‘promiscuous’, a burden to their families or the state, those who had been sexually abused or raised in the care of the Church and State, and unmarried mothers.…

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  • It’s Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion, and Open Adoption

    It’s Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion, and Open Adoption

    Edited by Brooke Randolph, MA, NCC, LMHC

    The title of this book can be both inflammatory and comforting; different people need to read it different ways. The reality is that the desire for information has nothing to do with parenting or personality, but an innate desire. It’s Not About You is an…

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  • Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience (3rd edition)

    Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience (3rd edition)

    by Betty Jean Lifton

    The first edition of Betty Jean Lifton’s Lost and Found advanced the adoption rights movement in this country in 1979, challenging many states’ policies of maintaining closed birth records. For nearly three decades the book has topped recommended reading lists for those who seek to…

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  • Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love

    Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love

    by Xinran (translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman)

    Following her internationally bestselling book The Good Women of China, Xinran has written one of the most powerful accounts of the lives of Chinese women. She has gained entrance to the most pained, secret chambers in the hearts of Chinese mothers—students, successful businesswomen, midwives, peasants—who,…

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  • My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past

    My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past

    by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair (translated by Carolin Sommer)

    This is the extraordinary and moving memoir of a woman who learns that her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the brutal Nazi commandant depicted in Schindler’s List. When Jennifer Teege, a German-Nigerian woman, happened to pluck a library book from the shelf, she had no idea…

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  • No Names to Be Given

    No Names to Be Given

    by Julia Brewer Daily

    1965. Sandy runs away from home to escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Becca falls in love with the wrong man. And Faith suffers a devastating attack. With no support and no other options, these three young, unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans…

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  • Practically Still a Virgin: An Adoption Memoir

    Practically Still a Virgin: An Adoption Memoir

    by Monica Hall

    During Alaska’s rough-and-tumble 1970s oil boom, a time when prostitution, violence, and lawlessness reigned, Monica Hall rebels against her strict Catholic parents in a downward spiral of delinquency. Overwhelmed by guilt and shame when the unthinkable happens, Hall is forced to make impossible choices. Will…

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  • Prison Baby: A Memoir

    Prison Baby: A Memoir

    by Deborah Jiang-Stein

    Even at twelve years old Deborah Jiang-Stein, the adopted daughter of a progressive Jewish couple in Seattle, felt like an outsider. Her multiracial features set her apart from her well-intentioned white parents, who evaded questions about her past. But when Deborah discovered a letter revealing…

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  • Reading Adoption: Family and Difference in Fiction and Drama

    Reading Adoption: Family and Difference in Fiction and Drama

    by Marianne Novy

    Explores the ways in which novels and plays portray adoption, probing the cultural fictions that these literary representations have perpetuated. Through careful readings of works by Sophocles, Shakespeare, George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Barbara Kingsolver, Edward Albee and others, Marianne Novy reveals how fiction has contributed…

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  • Relinquished: The Politics of Adoption and the Privilege of American Motherhood

    Relinquished: The Politics of Adoption and the Privilege of American Motherhood

    by Gretchen Sisson

    Adoption has always been viewed as a beloved institution for building families, as well as a mutually agreeable common ground in the abortion debate, but little attention has been paid to the lives of mothers who relinquish infants for private adoption. Relinquished reveals adoption to be a…

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  • Reunions in Spring: Meditations for a Holiday Table–Adoption Search & Families

    Reunions in Spring: Meditations for a Holiday Table–Adoption Search & Families

    by Suzanne Gilbert

    Reunions in Spring: Meditations for a Holiday Table–Adoption Search & Families is based on civilization’s oldest adoption memoir: the book of Exodus. It enjoys a lively retelling every spring through the literary genre of the “haggadah” used exclusively to retell the stories of Moses, his…

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  • Reunited: An Investigative Genealogist Unlocks Some of Life’s Greatest Family Mysteries

    Reunited: An Investigative Genealogist Unlocks Some of Life’s Greatest Family Mysteries

    by Pamela Slaton (with Samantha Marshall)

    In this poignant and heartwarming narrative, renowned genealogist Pamela Slaton tells the most striking stories from her incredibly successful career of reconnecting adoptees with long-lost birth parents. After a traumatic reunion with her own birth mother, Pamela Slaton realized two things: That she wanted to…

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