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Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

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About the Author

Jana Wolff is frequently asked to write and speak about adoption, race and families. She and her work have been featured in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous adoption magazines, as well as on radio, television, and the web.


About three years ago, the author and her husband, both Jewish, adopted a male baby at birth. Their child, whom they named Ari, was the birth son of two 18-year-olds, a Mexican-American mother and an African American father. In this candid memoir, Wolff relates her mixed feelings about bringing up a child from a different cultural background. Although she deeply loves her son, she is concerned that a biracial adoption may have made his future life harder. She also discusses her fears‘groundless, it turns out‘that Martie, the birth mother, would return to claim her child. Although the author's frankness is disarming and she has bravely made the decision to maintain contact with Martie and to allow her to visit Ari, she makes sometimes harsh or patronizing judgments about Martie's life choices. Wolff's commitment to her son comes across here as absolute, but she makes clear she harbors many ambivalent emotions about the adoption that will be of interest to other adoptive parents of biracial children. (Jan.)

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