Including More Than 450 Adoptee-Recommended Titles!

Category: Birth Families

  • Adoption Memoirs: Inside Stories

    Adoption Memoirs: Inside Stories

    by Marianne Novy

    Adoption Memoirs tells inside stories of adoption that popular media miss. Marianne Novy shows how adoption memoirs and films recount not only happy moments, but also the lasting pain of relinquishing a child, the racism and trauma that adoptees such as Jackie Kay and Jane Jeong…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America

    We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America

    by Roxanna Asgarian

    The shocking, deeply reported story of a murder-suicide that claimed the lives of six children–and a searing indictment of the American foster care system. On March 26, 2018, rescue workers discovered a crumpled SUV and the bodies of two women and multiple children at the…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • 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.…

    read more…

  • 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,…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • The Presence of Absence: A Story About Busyness, Brokenness, and Being Beloved

    The Presence of Absence: A Story About Busyness, Brokenness, and Being Beloved

    by Linda Hoye

    We wear busyness as a badge of accomplishment and personal success. But when we use it to fill a void, being busy can become an addiction. Busyness helps us feel better—or feel nothing—but the benefit doesn’t come without cost. Adoptee Linda Hoye used it to…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • The Politics of Reproduction: Adoption, Abortion, and Surrogacy in the Age of Neoliberalism

    The Politics of Reproduction: Adoption, Abortion, and Surrogacy in the Age of Neoliberalism

    Edited by Modhumita Roy and Mary Thompson

    The Politics of Reproduction: Adoption, Abortion and Surrogacy in the Age of Neoliberalism uniquely brings together three sites of reproduction and reproductive politics to demonstrate their entanglement in creating or restricting options for family-making. The original essays in this collection—which draw from a wide range of disciplinary and…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • The Baby Scoop Era: Unwed Mothers, Infant Adoption and Forced Surrender

    The Baby Scoop Era: Unwed Mothers, Infant Adoption and Forced Surrender

    by Karen Wilson-Buterbaugh

    An expose of unethical and coercive adoption industry practices during a short period in American history known as the Baby Scoop Era (Post WWII – 1972). By sharing the actual printed words of social caseworkers, maternity home personnel, lawyers, judges, medical and mental health practitioners,…

    read more…

  • Somebody Else’s Daughter

    Somebody Else’s Daughter

    by Elizabeth Brundage

    In the idyllic Berkshires, at the prestigious Pioneer School, there are dark secrets that threaten to come to light. Willa Golding, a student, has been brought up by her adoptive parents in elegant prosperity, but they have fled a mysterious and shameful past. Her biological…

    read more…

  • Too Afraid To Cry

    Too Afraid To Cry

    by Ali Cobby Eckermann

    In Too Afraid to Cry, Ali Cobby Eckermann―who was recently awarded the Windham-Campbell Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the world―describes with searing detail the devastating effects of racist policies that tore apart Indigenous Australian communities and created the Stolen Generations of adoptees,…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • The Swan Garden

    The Swan Garden

    by Anne Biggs

    The Swan Garden tells the story of a young woman who survives a brutal assault and rape, gives birth in a mother baby home, and the abuse she receives in the Magdalene Laundry. After finding a way to escape, she attempts to create a life for herself, but never…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search, Reunion, and Beyond

    The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search, Reunion, and Beyond

    by Julie Jarrell Bailey and Lynn N. Giddens, M.A.

    This book is written by two adoption specialists, one of whom is a reunited birthmother, and draws on the real-life experiences of others to help readers prepare for the emotional turbulence of the reunion experience, examine their fantasies and emotions about it, and find a…

    read more…

  • Silent Voices

    Silent Voices

    by Carlynne Hershberger

    The story of adoption is seldom told from the natural mother’s point of view. Eleven full color paintings with narrative poetry tell a story of loss, longing, power, powerlessness, surrender, grief, family and meaning. It represents the spiritual and physical connection that women have with…

    read more…

  • Saving Grace: A Story of Adoption

    Saving Grace: A Story of Adoption

    by L.B. Johnson

    It started with a piece of paper–a birth certificate, sent to the author’s parents long after her birth. There is much history in that piece of paper. For she was born to an unwed mother in the generation prior to Roe v. Wade, on a…

    read more…

  • 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.…

    read more…

  • 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,…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…

  • To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption

    To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption

    by Arissa H. Oh

    To Save the Children of Korea is the first book about the origins and history of international adoption. Although it has become a commonplace practice in the United States, we know very little about how or why it began, or how or why it developed…

    read more…

  • Two Peas In A Separated Pod: A True Story of Adoption

    Two Peas In A Separated Pod: A True Story of Adoption

    by Jeannie Lachman and Carole Sanguedolce

    Take a journey with two women on the road to discoveries and realizations. Jeannie and Carole write about their lives growing up. Each is unaware of the other. Jeannie is raised in the Bronx, New York. She grows up knowing that she is adopted and…

    read more…

  • 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…

    read more…