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3 authors unfiltereing adoption

Isn’t it Time to Unfilter Adoption?

Whaddaya Mean, Adoption Has Been Filtered?

For more than a century, all of us — those living in adoption and those observing it (and weighing in on it!) — have perceived adoption through the filters of professionals (who stand to profit from it), adoptive parents (who undeniably gain from it), and the media (which profits from sensationalizing it).

What has been lacking for more than a century is a fuller and more nuanced understanding of adoption from all voices in adoption, not just the privileged ones.

If we had a fuller and deeper understanding of adoption, what would we do differently?

This is the question Sara Easterly (adoptee), Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard (birth parent), and I set out to investigate, bringing together our lived experiences, as well as those of dozens of others.

credit Lena Eivy
Sara, an adoptee
credit Lena Eivy
Kelsey, a birth parent
Photo credits: Lena Eivy
credit Lena Eivy
Lori (me), adoptive parent

How I Met My Co-Authors

Shortly before the pandemic, I met Sara at a book signing for her memoir, Searching for Mom. I loved her book and let her know it. What followed were a few amazing guest posts by her, as well as a budding friendship between us.

Not quite three years ago, she blurted out that we should write a book together. While we pondered what the a book might be, we both attended an adoption conference (virtual, of course) in which Kelsey was presenting. Behind the scenes in a Zoom chat, our book trio came together. 

Over the last 2 ½ years, we did all the things you need to do to publish a book

We wrote a proposal which landed us an agent, who procured us a publisher. We wrote, we edited, we rewrote, we argued, we resolved, we yearned to take a break from the intensity more times that we can count, but we kept going.  We launched a video podcast. We meet weekly by zoom and once in person. We cried and we laughed. We became more than colleagues, and supported each other through hard times. We met most deadlines and asked for extensions on a few.

It's time for Adoption Unfiltered

Dear Readers, I am thrilled to announce that our book, Adoption Unfiltered, will be available December 1 in hardcover. It is the culmination of hundreds of discussions with people who have wise things to say about being adopted, surrendering a child to adoption, parenting by adoption, and other allies, through all kinds of adoption arrangements and from various eras.

Adoption Unfiltered Flips the Script

While adoptive parents (like me) have long held the megaphone, my co-authors and I have very intentionally centered adoptees and birth parent voices in the very structure and purpose of our book. I can’t wait for you to read Part I, in which  Sara brings forth adoptee experiences from critical thinkers and attachment experts.

Kelsey has also been masterful at revealing viewpoints of birth parents. Part II of Adoption Unfiltered offers an understanding what it’s like to have become a birth parent and live as one, which, until now has remained both mysterious and  stereotyped.

In Part III, I shine light on the deeper layers of the experience of adoptive parents, what we bring to the table and the common (yet not well understood) issues we face. Contributors talk with us about pronatalism, attachment, and our responsibilities to others as the power- and privilege-holders.

Finally, in Part IV we  reimagine adoption in light of these myriad unfiltered perspectives. We suggest changes in hearts, minds, policies, and procedures that work better for us all, along with concrete next steps to aim that direction.

We hope you will join us in reimagining adoption and making it better for those who come after us.

Available for pre-order!

If we’ve accomplished what we set out to do, your thoughts will be provoked when you read Adoption Unfiltered. And you will have a clearer idea of how to better navigate adoptive parenting for your own benefit, as well as for others. 
Adoption Unfiltered is available for pre-sale now via Bookshop or Amazon. Book tour details will be released very soon, too! Check out more early endorsements here (and join our mailing list to be notified of upcoming events). Check out the array of thought-leaders who have been early readers of Adoption Unfiltered!

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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7 Responses

  1. I am so excited for this book to come out. Adoption is a lifelong journey and just when you thought you ‘got it’, you find out there is so much more to learn. Thanks Lori for bringing us ALL the perspectives.

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