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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not as good as I expected
Good book but I was disappointed that the author assumes people adopt only for reasons of infertility and she also doesn't address adopting children into homes where there are already biological children. I also agree with a previous comment that she dicusses newborn adoption a lot but not older children.
Published on 13 Mar. 2013 by JoB

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Biased and to be taken with a grain of salt
The book is extremely biased. It's focused solely on the author's own negative experience. The tone feels more like a bitter rant than an objective look on the subject. It could have been a blend of interesting perspectives, but instead it's the author's own crusade in which only like-minded people have chosen to follow her and her generalizations.

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Published 17 months ago by H. Drussila


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Biased and to be taken with a grain of salt, 6 Dec. 2013
By 
H. Drussila - See all my reviews
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The book is extremely biased. It's focused solely on the author's own negative experience. The tone feels more like a bitter rant than an objective look on the subject. It could have been a blend of interesting perspectives, but instead it's the author's own crusade in which only like-minded people have chosen to follow her and her generalizations.

To start off, she writes as if all adoptive families are the same. Adoptive or not, no family is the same. Period. The author's blunt generalization is a bit insulting. Example:

"The very act of adoption is built upon loss. For the birth parents, the loss of their biological offspring [...]. For the adoptive parents, the loss of giving birth to a biological child [...]. And for the adopted child, the loss of the birth parents."
Not all of those statements are true in all cases. As Crispe herself has mentioned in an earlier review, some parents don't choose adoption because of infertility. Birth parents may have died (instead of having given up the child). Not all children are adopted upon birth, etc. The only way I could have forgiven the generalization is if the book would have explicitly made it clear that it is discussing ONLY this specific scenario (which seems to be the worst case scenario).

I mentioned the book is biased too. To give a very concrete example of bias, I will point out that in the whole book, she only offers 1 quote by an adoptee who seems to have come to terms with his adoption in this part:
" 'After my wife and I had our first child, my adoptive parents gave me the little bit of information they had about my birth family and told me they would support me if I wanted to explore my history or search for birth relatives. I'm not sure why they even think I'd be interested, I'm not. I've always felt okay about being adopted, and my parents are my parents'[...] While this man's perspective on his adoption experience is not uncommon, the majority of adoptees do run into ambivalent or painful feelings at some point in their lives."

Note that she refers to the person behind this quote as "The Man". However, the rest of the book is peppered by quotes from deeply hurt adoptees, all followed by their names. I guess the existence of people like "The Man" bothers the author because it undermines all of her generalizations. She clearly only looked to share the experiences of those who feels the same way as her (you, know like bad journalists do).

My husband stopped reading this book already at page 15 after this part:

"But then she asked her 7-year-old son, who was adopted at 3 days of age, what his perceptions were of his adoption day. His response was startling: 'I didn't know who any of you were. I didn't even know your names. I was so afraid'".

I had to stop my eyes from rolling otherwise they'd fall off the orbits. A quote from a child that remembers his 3rd day of birth? Yes, the book is very manipulative! However, unlike my husband, I decided to continue reading in order to try really hard to find the good in this book (which I did, I'll get to that next).

Overall, I do like the 20 topics listed by the author. It is a good summary afterall. I acknowledge they are all good issues that would be useful to understand when dealing with your adopted child. Even if you don't necessarily agree with the author's discussions everytime. She also provides nice tools on how to deal with adopted children, a lot of which could potentially be applied on a broader variety of cases. If this book would have been stripped of the bias, the generalizations and the constant repetition (yes, she tends to dwell a little), it could have been an excellent book.

I do not recommend this book as a first reading on the adoption topic to anyone who's considering to adopt. If you are new to this, start from broader books (perhaps, 'What to Expect When You're Adopting', by Dr. Ian Palmer). After you have had time to recognize different realities and have formulated some of your own thoughts, then you can try this one out. But beware: as I mentioned in the title, take it with a grain of salt!
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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected, 27 Nov. 2003
By A Customer
this started ok, but only deals with babies that were given up at birth and not from any other perspective, disappointing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very one sided. If adopting in the UK, not completely relevant., 2 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew (Kindle Edition)
The most helpful parts of this book are the chapter headings. I base this, without meaning any disrespect to the author, on the fact that the headings (the 20 things adopted kids wish their adoptive parents knew) are useful tips to be mindful of when adopting.
However, the chapters themselves are seldom drawn from different adoptee's experiences and backgrounds. The book dwells too much on children being 'given up' and makes sweeping generalisations. Some children are orphans, some abused by their parents, some are removed due to neglect - but loved all the same by their birth parents. Each of these scenarios is hard for a child to comprehend, whether they remember it or not - but each situation is different and there is no 'one size fits all' approach from adoptive parents to help.
Equally, not every adopter adopts because they ran out of money after many fruitless Rounds of IVF. Some are foster Carers who choose to adopt those placed with them, some choose to adopt because they are single, gay or simply do not want to give birth while others wish to share their family with a child who needs a home.

If adopting in the UK, it is important to remember that this book is not written from a UK viewpoint. In the UK, openness is not just encouraged but expected. Adopters will learn everything about their new child that their social workers know, they are encouraged to meet the birth parents where appropriate, and they are expected to maintain indirect contact with the birth family through annual letters (via the adoption agency as an intermediary).
I've spoken to adoptees who have been secure about where they came from, aware they were adopted and when they met their birth family, grateful to have lead the life they have had.

This book assumes every adopted child will reach the opinion that their life sucks and will need lots of help from their parents or therapists to get over it. But it also astonishingly fails to acknowledge that these feelings make up only a tiny proportion of the adoptee/adopters lives together - but is the proportion that needs to be handled correctly if it's not going to dominate their lives.

Handled correctly, adoption is rewarding for both parties. Adoption is never going to leave a child, but it's circumstances do not need to define it either.

Knowing and respecting the importance of the chapter headings is a good start, but take the rest with a pinch of salt. The book is all too quick to dismiss the thoughts and feelings of adopters, but it is important that these are taken into account too. As an adopter once said to me when discovering for the first time that her daughters birth mum had been in touch for the first time since she was adopted seven years ago: "it sucks, really sucks. You feel like saying to her you lost your chance to be a mum. You feel like she's trying to take my daughter away from me. That's the hard part,of adoption, but so important and such greet news for my daughter that she will understand more of her birth mum when the time is right.".
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but very unpaired by author's own experiences, 19 April 2011
This book is interesting and full of tools to help adoptive parents bring up their kids. Unfortunately, I also find it extremely one-sided and deeply impaired by the author's own life experiences.

It focuses only on a specific type of adoptee, those that were:

Adopted by parents who couldn't conceive
Very damaged by the trauma of adoption
Extremely unhappy about having been adopted

It totally overlooks families that have adopted out of CHOICE, for whom their adopted child/ren was NOT a second choice; also those adoptees who are much more resilient than the author was herself and for whom adoption was not as damaging as it was for her.

Of course prospective adoptive parents need to be prepared for the worst case scenario (for which the book would be excellent), but frankly there are some things on this book that I found a brutal generalization that completely overlook many of those who live in the adoption world.

It should be called "20 things I wish my adoptive parents knew", or "Twenty things adopted kids very unhappy and damaged by their adoption wish their adoptive parents knew".

There are quotes from hundreds of adoptees who have suffered deeply by their adoptions, and it seems this is the type of adoptee that the author favours in her research to fit her theories. It gives very little room for the feelings and views of adoptees that have fulfilling, happy adoption experiences, and no room at all for adopters that chose to give a child a chance rather than to create a new life to bring to the world.

Over all, a good tool for parenting but exclusively focused on the negative aspects of adoption.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not as good as I expected, 13 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew (Kindle Edition)
Good book but I was disappointed that the author assumes people adopt only for reasons of infertility and she also doesn't address adopting children into homes where there are already biological children. I also agree with a previous comment that she dicusses newborn adoption a lot but not older children.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty things adoptive parents wish they had known!, 20 April 2014
By 
Mrs. M. E. Clarke (Guildford UK) - See all my reviews
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We adopted 2 boys of mixed race in the late 60s, when there was little advice available for adopters. To tell the children they were adopted before they were even able to understand the word, so grew up accepting it as fact, was the only piece of (indeed vital) advice we were given.
Clearly Sherrie Eldridge suffered from being adopted, and it is important to realise when reading this book, that your adopted children may not have the same problems. The age at which a child is adopted obviously makes a great difference, but the idea that children adopted at or shortly after birth suffer a 'bereavement' (mother's voice, mother's smell etc.) was new to me.
I have read the book too late to affect the way in which we brought up our two children, but it has made me realise in a different way what adoption meant to them. I would certainly urge all adoptive parents to read the book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A little one-sided and negative, 29 Sept. 2011
I bought this book as a prospective adopter but found it very one-sided and coloured by the negative experiences of the author. It was well-written and contained some useful ideas but on the whole it made the whole subject of adoption feel very negative and traumatic and certain tips such as holding your newborn longer will aid attachment just seemed obvious. I wish there had been a more positive angle from successful adoptive families rather than quite so much doom and gloom. I would recommend it to someone who was experiences attachment problems with their adopted child but other than that it is a little negative for my taste.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for all in the adoption process, 28 Nov. 2012
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This book has highlighted certain issues that have been raised by children that have been adopted, Certainly helped me in coming to terms with difficult and challenging behavior that come with adopting a child.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 6 Jun. 2014
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I learnt a lot of things in this book, the language is great and easy to follow
Would have been good with more direct quotes from kids though
But over all a very useful book
Thank you
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I expected, 12 May 2004
By A Customer
This book just reflected my own experiences with my adopted children. It struck a chord many times with my children too.
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