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The Greatest Gift

Reflections on International and Domestic Adoption

By Betsy Buckley

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Review by Allison Martin

This engaging collection of of adoption stories and personal anecdotes is a friendly introduction to different routes of creating an adoptive family. Author Betsy Buckley began to collect adoption stories and parenting advice after the adoption of their first child from Guatemala. Eager to encourage prospective parents to consider adoption, and curious about experiences and views of other adoptive parents, she gathered information with a detailed questionnaire and from bulletin boards and email lists. The Greatest Gift is the culmination of a year's research into the experiences and thoughts of a number of adoptive families around the United States.

Betsy Buckley's personable style and interesting anecdotes will keep you reading to the end. Adoption stories about international, domestic and special circumstances (eg, single parent) are generously shared by adoptive parents in The Greatest Gift. The majority of the stories address international adoption experiences - from China, Guatemala, Russian and many other countries. Issues related to adoption are also explored, such as infertility, financial considerations, faith, and racial identity. This book provides encouragement to adopt; it is not a detailed "how to adopt" manual. Use it to start your search, rather than as the final analysis. For example, although some of the adoption stories indicate potential pitfalls, this book does not address adoption ethics or cautions. However, it is quite readable, and you are sure to enjoy the range of stories, anecdotes and her personal comments.

The Greatest Gift provides a nice feel for the various options of the adoption process. If you are thinking about adopting, this book will give you the hope and proof that it can be done.

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