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?
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!
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.
- Her first book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption, makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life.
- Her second book, Standing Room Only: How to Be THAT Yoga Teacher is now available in paperback.
- Her third book, Adoption Unfiltered, will be published in late 2023.