Adoption usually involves several different parties: the child, the birthparents, the adoptive parents, and the agency, social worker, or lawyer. Each has a unique perspective on the process. In Pregnant? Adoption Is an Option, Lindsaya former teen parent, educator, and authorfocuses on today's adoption process (closed adoptions are no longer the rule) and the rights of birthparents. Here, 39 birthparents share their experiences and the emotional implications of their decisions. The topics discussed include the role of the birthfather, the child's extended family, the importance of counseling, selection of the adoptive parents, birth, grieving, and planning ahead. Lindsay provides the informational tools necessary to develop an "adoption plan," which gives the birthparents a sense of control. This book provides the basic education and empowerment essential for birthparents to make the right decision for their baby. Johnston, an infertility and adoption educator as well as author, wants to educate adoptive parents and professionals about "child-centered" adoptions. With the emergence of "open adoption," she tries to quiet the fears of perspective adoptive parents by emphasizing the benefits of honesty and openness. Practical suggestions for welcoming an adoptive baby include discussion of the impact of past infertility, society's and the family's reaction to adoption, naming the baby, bonding, attachment, and birthparent relationships. Information on the baby's past experiences and conditions as well as future expectations are intended to ease a sometimes difficult transition. The well-being of the child being of primary importance, Johnston encourages the involvement of all parties to provide for a smooth transition and healthy upbringing. Both books are excellent primers for birthparents and perspective adoptive parents. Highly recommended for public libraries.Lisa A. Errico-Cox, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, N.Y.
Gr 9 UpAn excellent update to the author's Pregnant Too Soon: Adoption Is an Option (Morning Glory, 1987). With pregnant teenagers as her target audience, Lindsay addresses the option of "open adoption," the ongoing relationship between adoptive and birthparents. The author presents current research that shows open adoption is better for the child. Emphasis is also placed on the problem of birthfathers being ignored and the need for both birthparents to be involved in the process of making an adoption plan; the importance of counseling; and the grieving process that naturally occurs when the child is relinquished to the adoptive parents. Numerous interviews with birthparents enhance readability and interest. This straightforward, well-organized book fills an important need for today's teens. Black-and-white drawings with multicultural representation accompany the text. A good complement to Aliza Sherman's Everything You Need to Know about Surrendering Your Baby for Adoption (Rosen, 1996).Judy R. Johnston, Auburn High School, WA