Adoptive Kinship: A Modern Institution in Need of Reform

The experience of adoption is far more common than is ordinarily thought. Conservative estimates hold that one out of five persons in North America is intimately linked to adoption–as adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, siblings, spoises, grandparents and as offspring.

In today’s climate of controversy over the rights of adopted persons in North America, here finally is a book which brings solid facts to this area of deep emotion. In 1964 Kirk’s highly readable book Shared Fate challenged the professional assumptions with research based on over 2,000 Canadian and American adoptive families. Now the author has provided an up-to-date review of the background for the current controversy concerning the civil rights of adopted persons. What he shows is that the difficulties peculiar to adoptive family life stem from well-meant but mistaken laws and administrative practices.

As in a detective story, Adoptive Kinship takes the reader through a gripping series of events. Eventually we discern the true sources of difficulty and also new directions for adoption, both as human relationship and as social institution.

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