FROM THE EDITOR
Decades ago, newborn adoption in the U.S. began
moving from closed placements characterized by
secrecy and shame to open adoptions with contact
before and after placement. Critics worried that
adoptive parents would only adopt if guaranteed an-
onymity, that birth parents would not welcome con-
tinued contact because they’d want to “move on” after placement, and
that adoptees would be confused by having “two sets” of parents—so
how has open adoption been working? Brilliantly, say adoptees who
have grown up with openness—who are, of course, the best indica-
tors. Read about the many benefits of openness in their own words,
starting on page 30. We thank them and Open Adoption & Family
Services for generously sharing their stories.
We strongly believe in learning from one another in the adoption community, and are pleased to add three mothers’ voices to the
public dialogue in this issue: a mother through transracial adoption
urges the parents of her black son’s friends to talk to their children
about racism (p. 17); a mom who adopted two older children shares
the words she wishes she had said aloud to friends and family, to offer
them education and request their support (p. 21); and a mother who
hesitantly agreed to birth family contact after adopting from foster
care lets her child’s birth grandmother know how much they all need
her in their lives now (p. 42).
And if you’re looking for a good book to get lost in during the
rest of the cold winter evenings, please turn to page 10 for our recently published picks. 2015 was a year that brought many wonderful
new adoption memoirs. One of our favorites was Jillian Lauren’s
Everything You Ever Wanted—a revealing, brave, hilarious, heartbreaking, heartwarming story from an adoptee and adoptive mother
who becomes a fierce champion for her son with special needs. Dare
we say...everything you ever wanted in a memoir? Read an excerpt
and an interview with the author on page 25.
WINTER 2016 Vol. 49, No. 1
ART DIRECTOR Ron Anteroinen
COPY EDITOR Gene Jones
DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECTOR Anni Rodgers
DIGITAL;MARKETING;MANAGER;Kate Harms worth
ASSISTAN T EDI TORS Devon Frye
COMMUNI TY MODERATOR Danielle Pennel
ADVERTISING Anne Mazza
CIRCULATION Sue Sidler
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EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Jane Aronson, D.O., Worldwide Orphans Foundation, New York, NY • Denise M. Bierly, Esq., American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, State College, PA • Deborah Borchers, M.D.,
F.A.A.P., Crossroad Health Center, Cincinnati, OH • Jane Brown, M.S. W., Scottsdale, AZ • Susan Soon-keum Cox, Holt International Children’s Services, Eugene, OR • Beth Hall, PACT,
An Adoption Alliance, San Francisco, CA • Dana Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., International Adoption Clinic, University of Minnesota • Deborah Johnson, M.S. W., Kindred Journeys International,
Minneapolis, MN • Regina M. Kupecky, L.S. W., Adoption & Attachment Therapy Partners, Broadview Heights, OH • Kathy Ledesma, AdoptUSKids, Linthicum, MD • Mark McDermott, J.D.,
American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Washington, DC • Joni S. Mantell, L.C.S. W., Infertility and Adoption Counseling Center, Pennington, NJ • Adam Pertman, National Center on
Adoption and Permanency, New York, NY • Vicki Peterson, L.I.C.S. W., Chestnut Hill, MA • Debbie Riley, M.S., Center for Adoption Support and Education, Burtonsville, MD • Sarah Saffian,
L.M.S. W., M.F.A., New York, NY • Jayne Schooler, Columbus, OH • Sarah Springer, M.D., F.A.A.P., Kids Plus Pediatrics, Pittsburgh, PA • Judy Stigger, The Cradle, Evanston, IL • Peter J.
Wiernicki, Esq., American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Rockville, MD