Adoption Nation

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"Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America"

by Adam Pertman

This is arguably one of the most comprehensive, important, and readable books on adoption and I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

It's not only a rare combination of solid research and intriguing personal stories (it's a big, important sociological text that reads like a novel), it is also the first adoption book written both for people directly involved in the process, and the world at large - so that everyone understands how adoption really works and how much it truly touches their lives.

In "Adoption Nation", Pertman writes about the Internet, the corrupting influence of money, about the need for open records, and a wide variety of other topics. It's the only book ever written that ties together all the various people and issues of the adoption world (including such things as baby abandonment and new reproductive technologies, which aren't often thought of as adoption issues, but really are). He shows that all these things are inter-related and amount to a cultural revolution in our country that's changing the way we think about our families and ourselves.

Reviews (including my own) refer to "research," "sociological importance," and "impact" of the book. These are all accurate, but can possibly lead potential readers to believe it's written for the scientific or legal community. Don't be misled into thinking this isn't for you. This eminently readable book should be among the first read by everyone interested in adopting and/or in modern-day adoption practice and policy.

Pertman has used the best talents of his training as a journalist to strip away the excess words, sentimentality, and pompous attitudes often present in other works, to open an unfogged window to the world of adoption today: how we got here, where 'here' is, and where we're headed.

A quick reminder that Pertman is the adoptive parent of two young children who writes that when he and his wife began to explore adoption:
...like most Americans, the little we thought we understood was distorted or misguided or wrong. So we formed opinions about the essential elements in our children's lives - and in our own - that were distorted and misguided and wrong.
Pertman was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his writing about adoption in The Boston Globe, where he worked as a reporter for more than 20 years. He was awarded the prestigious Leonard Silk Journalism Fellowship from the Century Foundation for his book. He has also received the Year 2000 Journalism Award from Holt International Children's Services for his writing about adoption, children and families; and he won the first-ever award from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption as the American who has done most to further public understanding of adoption and of children who need homes.

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