by Beth Hall & Martha Rynberg

Q: Now that my daughter is old enough to go to the movies, she is eager to see all the movies her friends are talking about at school. It seems like almost every one of them touches on adoption in some way! I know she already feels “different” because she is adopted, so I don’t want to make her feel even more different by preventing her from seeing the movies that all her friends are going to. At the same time, I hate to expose her to stories that present a distorted image of adoption, or cast it in a…

by Jeanne Lin

What are the particular risks and challenges that transracial adoption presents to identity development for the child? What challenges does the adopted person’s identity development present to the transracial family system? What specific kinds of issues and conflicts might arise and, importantly, what can we do to handle them? In asking these questions, I am specifically referring to families in which at least one parent is Caucasian and the adopted child is a person of color.

I should begin by saying that I am not a parent, nor am I an adopted person. I am a clinical psychologist who has…

By Robert L. Ballard, Ph.D.

Alasdair MacIntyre, a well-known ethicist, wrote: “We all live out narratives in our lives.” If this is true, then each life is a story, with a beginning, an end, and a wide range of characters, plot changes, and climaxes that enrich and enliven the story in between. These elements combine to create unique stories that are never repeated or duplicated.

For international and transracial adoptees, one of the few things we can truly call our own is our story. We have lost our birth families, lost our birth culture, been placed in a family not…


Gina Miranda Samuels, PhD., MSW

Discussing multiraciality, transracial adoption, and identity have incited the most heartfelt and passionate debates I have ever witnessed in my professional or personal life. Multiracial families (both adoptive and non-adoptive) and mixed-race people are living symbols, and also walking targets, for some of our most cherished beliefs, our deepest pains, and our desire to ignore, dismantle, or indulge our obsessions with race. Engaging in these discussions can never be fully objective or value-free — they are deeply personal and emotional. I want to acknowledge that reality, while calling for a higher level of complexity…

by Mary Grossnickle, illustrated by Alison Relyea

Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishing 2014, $15.95, hardcover, 36 pages

A note from Mary Grossnickle:

A Place in My Heart is the result of my own experience with adoption, and also the result of talking to many children who were adopted. Feelings about birth parents are real and valid emotions, and they need to be acknowledged and even nurtured.

A Place in My Heart is a wonderful demonstration of how parents can talk with young children about adoption. The language and story are appropriate for early school-aged children (5 to 9 years old). …

We asked a transracial adoptee and a white adoptive parent to write reviews of Rebecca Carroll’s new memoir, “Surviving the White Gaze.” We think it’s important to always elevate the voice of adoptees and welcome their reviews, feedback and input. With this searing book, we also felt it was useful to hear from a white adoptive parent — read her review HERE.

Review by Ari Schill

Ari is a Black, queer and gender expansive, transracial adpotee. They are a multi-genre writer and facilitator who lives in Portland, Oregon. Ari graduated with a degree in Psychology and Human Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University and in their free time they love dancing, going to the beach, writing and reading fiction and sci-fi.

It is often difficult to find books about adoption, specifically transracial adoption, written by adoptees. The market seems saturated with idealized and romanticized stories from the perspective of white adoptive parents who are often blinded by white savior mentality. Fortunately…

We asked a transracial adoptee and a white adoptive parent to write reviews of Rebecca Carroll’s new memoir, “Surviving the White Gaze.” We think it’s important to always elevate the voice of adoptees and welcome their reviews, feedback and input. To read the review by adoptee Ari Schill, go HERE.

Review by Tanya E. Friedman

Tanya E. Friedman is a white adoptive mother, educator and writer who spends a lot of time thinking about the impact of white supremacy on our inner and outer worlds and what to do about it. Her memoir about becoming an anti-racist white teacher is almost done. Tanya lives in Brooklyn with her daughter and partner.

Rebecca Carroll’s timely memoir, “Surviving the White Gaze,” traces her complicated path toward wholeness as a Black child adopted by white parents. Through beautifully rendered scenes and incisive analysis, Carroll’s intimate, truth-seeking voice grants us a front row seat…

by Francie Portnoy

One of the major developmental tasks for any child is the forming of his or her self-definition. Much of this task is done on a subconscious level and over a great deal of time. The personal self-definition a child develops will be greatly affected by her family legacy: a legacy that includes all of the traits she acquired through heredity (all her genetic traits) as well as what she sees, hears, feels, or is told about herself and her family as she grows up. In addition, the ways significant others react to her, what they praise in…

by James Cagney

Speak what should

remain unspoken

— write what

should never be

said aloud.

1He was the third psychiatrist I’d seen in my life. The third shrink I’d sat with in a year and, like a bad date, I found him on the Internet. I Googled my issues — yeah, Blood: Googled. My. Issues. And this dude pops up. Even in his photo he appears to be listening — as if you could print his picture, thumbtack it to a bedroom wall and talk to it.

He was poised. Concerned. Serious. I e-mailed him from work like you’d…

A Collection of Adoptee Reflections

by Breaux, V., & Kilgore, S. (2020)

Reviewed by Kayla Harr Doucette

In Rooted in Adoption: A Collection of Adoptee Reflections, adoptees Veronica Breaux and Shelby Kilgore bring together the voices of 47 adoptees to discuss how adoption has impacted their lives. As an adoptee, I found this collection at turns revelatory, challenging, and affirming. Without exception, these adoptees’ stories are important, and I am grateful to the authors for curating and sharing them. Rooted in Adoption ultimately underscores the need to center adoptee voices, hold space for the wide and varied range of adoptee experiences, and foster sustained conversation among those impacted by adoption.

Significant variation…

Pact, An Adoption Alliance

Pact is a non-profit organization whose mission is to serve adopted children of color and advocate for ethical adoption practices.

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