Joyce Maguire Pavao; Beacon Press, Boston; 1998
In the preface to her book, Joyce Maguire Pavao writes that “The Family of Adoption” is meant for everyone in the world of adoption. I agree. This is an excellent overview book, addressing all three perspectives of the adoption triad. There are three chapters that discuss various developmental stages of the adopted person, and an entire chapter on the importance of keeping connections. The book is relatively short (135 pages) and an easy read.
Maguire Pavao is an adopted person herself, as well as a respected professional in the field of adoption. In the book, she strikes a nice balance between professionalism and the knowledge and passion for this topic that most often comes from personal experience. The information from the “professional” is interspersed with very effective illustrative stories.
The author reminds us throughout that the focus of adoption is, or should be, the child. She effectively normalizes adoption issues and encourages us to accept them as part of the process, and part of the normal developmental stages of the adopted person.
As Maguire Pavao does, I would recommend this book to anyone in the “world of adoption,” or anyone interested in it. In particular, I would recommend “The Family of Adoption” for extended family members. This book, along with “Adoption Nation” by Adam Pertman would make an excellent “package” for those interested in an overview of adoption.
– Debbie Kaufman