The Face in the Mirror: Teenagers and Adoption

Article excerpt

ARSENAL PULP PRESS, 2000

As a social worker in Vancouver years ago, I often wondered about the fate of babies who were placed for adoption. Would the placement be successful? How would the child feel about being adopted? Would the child want to contact the birth parents later on? What do adopted children need to know?

Marion Crooks book, The Face in the Mirror, Teenagers and Adoption, provides many answers to these and other questions. This is a book for adolescents, adoptive parents, birth parents and social workers. That Crook is an adoptive parent adds to her insights.

Crook interviewed over 50 teenagers and adults with a personal or professional interest. She asked teens questions such as "Would knowing your birth parents make any difference to you?" "How would you fit your birth parents into your life?" and "Would you consider adopting a child yourself?" The answers led to many far-reaching discussions.

Some adoptees are secure and successful, some have problems, some have left their adoptive parents, but all feel those parents are family.

However, what seems to be first on nearly every young adoptee's mind is "Why did my birth parents give me up?" Even though intellectually they may know the reasons, many still feel an emotional rejection that can cause great insecurity in adolescence. Being told by adoptive parents that they were "chosen" or "special" doesn't necessarily help. …