Full disclosure, the authors are related to me. That said, after finishing this book, I find myself wondering how one person can put their shoulder to the wheel of the debacle that is international adoption, and introduce concepts that have been de rigueur in successful domestic adoption policy in the United States for years now.

More compelling than their idea, however, is the continuous stream of solid examples of how current policies are designed to help nation-states save face rather than ensure quality care for children. Having been through an adoption process myself, I can assure you that there are few things worse on the psyche of a child than being stuck in legal limbo. Perhaps the only thing would be being actively lied to about your past. Yet in international adoption, both of these things are common place.

Adoptions that drag on for months or years are the standard, not the exception. And often times, because of draconian laws, parents are forced to pretend they are dead to ensure their children are adoptable. Any one who knows anything about child psychology owes it to themselves to help parents make the best decision in terrible circumstances, and to allow the process to work slowly at first, and then rapidly as decisions are made.

I’ll also admit that the anecdotes about the authors’ adopted children were at times hilarious and heartbreaking. It was neat getting to know my nephews in a different light. While I realize most readers will not have the personal connection with the people, the vignettes anchor the story in an actual lived experience beautifully.

Saving International Adoption by Mark Montgeomery & Irene Powell