Adoption Reunions:
A Book for Adoptees, Birth Parents and Adoptive Families
by Michelle McColm
Second Story Press, Toronto, 1995

     Adoption Reunions, subtitled “A Book for Adoptees, Birth Parents, and Adoptive Families,” is up-to-date, well-written, and has a good balance of stories from all members of the adoption triad. Written by a Canadian—as a fair amount of adoption books are—the information is also relevant for the U.S.
     The author discusses various situations, including what may happen a few months or years after a reunion. This is the first book I have found that deals with those long-term issues. Sometimes we assume that if the search is successful, and the immediate reunion goes well, the relationships will continue to progress positively and evenly. That is not always the case, as this book illustrates by various examples. Knowing the possible problems might help you to avoid them, and avoid unrealistic expectations. We cannot regain the lost years before reunion, which is the false hope that turns some post-reunion relationships sour. We can forge new types of relationships, for which our society has not had a model to follow, until now.
     This book also discusses various types of support groups for adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents, search registries, resources for therapy, and suggestions to consider, such as the adult adoptee choosing whether to retain the adoptive name or change to the birth name, amending one’s will, and helping to change legislation. The book puts a great deal of emphasis on the helpful role of support groups throughout the search process and continuing after the reunion.
     At the end of each chapter is a “List of Things to Remember,” related to that chapter’s topic, for the Adoptee, the Birth Parents, and the Adoptive Parents. I found this feature particularly helpful. Adoption Reunions would be an excellent resource for any member of the adoption triad, as well as professionals who deal with adoption-related issues.

— Barbara Free, M.A.
O.I. Member

Excerpted from the Aprl 1998 edition of the Operation Identitiy Newsletter
© 1998 Operation Identity