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The Family of Adoption: Completely Revised and Updated Paperback – Jan 7 1999


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Paperback, Jan 7 1999
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press; 1 edition (Jan. 7 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807028010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807028018
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,937,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Amazon

Joyce Maguire Pavao dedicates her book The Family of Adoption in part to her two mothers, who died two weeks apart. "They both died of secrecy," she writes. "One could no longer talk, silenced by her disease. One could no longer think or remember.... I love and cherish what each of my mothers endured and imparted.... I refuse to have secrets and I work to change a system that perpetrates them."

Pavao is a nationally known family and adoption therapist who works with adoptive children and their families. Her authority and insight come from her combined experience both as a professional therapist and as an adopted child. In The Family of Adoption, Pavao describes the grief processes, dilemmas, and potentials for healing of birth mothers and adoptive parents. A strong advocate for adopted children, she discusses the difference between secrecy and privacy--a crucial distinction in adoption--and lends a strong voice to the movement for openness. Pavao is the first specialist to clearly identify and demonstrate predictable, understandable developmental stages and challenges for every adoptee (pointing out, for example, that adopted children tend to daydream, and may have a more challenging adolescence), and elucidates patterns that adoptive parents may witness as their children grow.

As adoption becomes more discussed and less taboo, the emotional road maps become clearer for adoptive families, birth mothers, and children of adoption. The Family of Adoption is a gentle, essential addition to the literature that will help guide families of adoption along the path. --Ericka Lutz --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

A commitment to placing the best interests of the child first informs every page of this excellent study of the complex psychological and social dynamics of adoptive families. Pavao, an adoption therapist and the executive director of the Center for Family Connections in Cambridge, Mass., was herself adopted as an infant. She believes strongly in the necessity of pre- and post-adoptive counseling for both birth and adoptive parents, although she acknowledges that there is a serious lack of trained professionals for this purpose. According to the author, such counseling is essential if adoptive parents are to understand and be able to work with their child through the developmental stages common to adoptees, such as feelings of loss, school problems and a desire to learn about their past. Pavao's analysis is comprehensive, and she considers all types of adoption, including transracial, special needs, international and foster care. Drawing on adoption stories culled from her practice, she shows how the adopted child, birth parents, adoptive parents, as well as other family members benefit from such contact and openness. She is convinced that those who are adopted have a right to learn as much as possible about their past and suggests, for example, that international adoptees be allowed to visit their country of origin to better understand their roots. Adoption, Pavao writes, "is not about finding children for families, but about finding families for children."
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Format: Paperback
This is a great resource for adoption members (and anyone else) who want to understand the developmental stages and clinical issues in adoption. Pavao, an adoptee herself, was only told once of her adoption and after that "no one would talk, no one would explain." She grew up with the poisonous idea that "people who have secrets about them think there's something wrong with them." When she met her birthmother, the secrecy continued. No wonder, today, as a "family-system thinker," Pavao works to change a system that perpetuates secrecy and in so doing The Family of Adoption is meant for everyone in the world of adoption, but with focus on the best interest of the child. Pavao points out that birth and adoptive families are not the only ones responsible for the family of adoption. She deplores the fact that to this day material on adoption in medical school texts are lacking. The nation's psychiatrists, pediatricians, obstetricians, gynecologists and general practitioners are taught next to nothing about adoption. Law schools, too, neglect to give lawyers and judges a broader framework within which to view adoption and serve each client and case. Social workers too get inadequate training to work with complex families, as do professors in psychology programs. Pavao points out the "sad change of events" today which shows that adoptions in the U.S. are not based on a deliberation about the child's welfare but on business considerations. Her informative book tries to stir both public and private adoptions in the direction of seeing what placement would be the best for the child, and not best for the family, agency or adoption professional. I heartily recommend this book to the general public.
Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?
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By Gina Lee on March 6 2002
Format: Paperback
As a mother of a 8 year old, foster to adopt daughter, this book is so helpful to know what her feelings are of her birth parents. Even though she is old enough to remember and honesty state where her parents went wrong, she still loves them. This book helps me to understand the value of her being connected to her birth family. That the connection is not broken with the legal signing of adoption papers. That she will always have the connection and that I had better do my part in helping her understand what it is all about. I met Joyce Maguire Pavao last Nov. when the State of Maine Dept.of Human Services had her as a guest speaker to celebrate National Adoption Month. I thought she knew her stuff, then. She didn't have her book for sale that day like most speakers do, it wasn't until recently, while in a local book store that I saw it. I grabbed it and couldn't put it down. Now, I'm buying several copies for others, that I know who have adopted. The book really covers the issue of national and international adoption. And the feelings of all involved. It really is simply the best book I've read on adoption,(and I have enough books on adoption to start a small library!!!)
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Format: Hardcover
Joyce Maguire Pavao has been a familiar speaker at adoption reform and adoptive parent conferences for many years. Her wisdom, gentleness, and skill as a master story teller have enlightened many through the spoken word. It is a real joy to finally have her work in writing.
Emily Dickinson said "tell the truth, but tell it slant". That is exactly what Dr. Pavao does in her stories and anecdotes of adoptees and adoptive families in therapy, and in her pioneering work in open adoption. Rather than boring us all with theory, she lets the lives of her clients speak for themselves, and teach many lessons about the value of openness and honesty in adoption, and the healing power of truth and love.
This is a book that is easy to read--I read it through in a few hours--but one you will come back to again and again if you work with members of the adoption triad, or are yourself a person affected by adoption. As an adoptee herself, and a long-time activist for adoption reform, Dr. Pavao brings a special empathy to her work with adopted children and families, and with adult triad members. Unlike a previous reviewer here, I would take Dr. Pavao's writing over the pompous, empty platitudes of David ("I Am The Walrus")Brodzinski any day!
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Format: Hardcover
Pioneering therapist Joyce Maguire Pavao's book should be read by all persons or pairs who wish to adopt. It examines the perspectives of all adoption triad members: birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted individuals. It contends that adoption is about finding families for children, not the other way round. The founder and director of the Center for Family Connections (Cambridge/New York), Dr. Pavao says she employs case studies because they pack emotional wallop and yet instruct. This is certainly the case. Within the first 30 pages, opportunities for tears abound - and so do clear descriptions of the hearts and minds of participants in the adoption process. With 20 years' experience as a provider who 'gets it' and a lifetime as an adopted person, Dr. Pavao has certainly earned the right to write on adoption (as few others have), and her language is intensely felt. The Open Door Society's ODS News calls this work "truly the most insightful and healing book on the adoption shelf." For anyone who offers professional services to a member of the triad, this book is a necessity. Dr. Pavao's inclusive, accessible style of writing makes The Family of Adoption especially successful. New England's Adoptive Families Together, Inc. (member of Adoptive Families of America and winner of a 1999 North American Council on Adoptable Children/NACAC award as Outstanding Parent Group) acquired copies for each of its support groups' libraries - I know, since I facilitate one such group! I'll say it once more: For anyone who offers professional services to a member of the triad, this book is a necessity.
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