Authors Sara Easterly (adoptee), KelseyVander 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 space of adoption may seem like a lofty goal, it reveals our optimistic aim: working together with truth and transparency to move toward healing.
- Adoptees, who are so often in pain, suffering from what that latest brain science validates as the long-term emotional effects of separation trauma. By encouraging others to vulnerably share their stories, the authors discover that adoptees aren’t the only ones in the adoption constellation who are hurting.
- Birth parents regularly shut down after being shut out by adoptive parents.
- Adoptive parents often struggle with unique parenting challenges and hidden insecurity, feeling the need to hide the fact that they are not the Super Parents they led the agency to believe they would be.
Across the industry, misinformed and even unethical practices abound. Clearly, the way we’re going about adoption isn’t working, and it’s high time for significant course corrections. True change can happen when adults in adoption work together in the spirit of curiosity and empathy—to learn and do better for future generations of adoptees and their first and adoptive families.
Praise for The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole
“This book sits on my desk and I refer to it multiple times a week. When a colleague gave me a copy, it was like someone had just placed the be-all end-all resources in my hands. It is now required reading for my clients. The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption is such a gift to the adoption triad.”
– Marissa Zwelling, LCSW
“I especially liked the practicalities of how to mesh extended families in an open adoption, what to do when one child in the family has more contact with their birth parents than another child in the family, and the realities from the child’s perspective of the push-pull of having another family out there. But ultimately, I liked the focus on adopting the heartset of openness because it is what our kids need.
Adoption creates a split between a person’s biology and his biography. Openness in adoption is an effective way to heal that split and help the child become whole. Amen!”
– Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of CreatingAFamily.org and host of the top-rated podcast, Creating a Family: Talk about Adoption and Infertility
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