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Recommended reading for birth relatives

Bailey, J, and Giddens, L N (2001) The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search Reunion and Beyond.

New Harbinger Publications. ISBN 1572242280

Real-life experiences help readers prepare for the emotional turbulence of the reunion experience, examine their fantasies and emotions about it, and find a personal support system to help them through


Charlton, L, Crank, M, Kansara, K and Oliver, C (1998) Still Screaming: Birth parents Compulsorily Separated from their Children.

After Adoption, Manchester. ISBN 0953257401

This book provides revealing and hard-hitting accounts of what birth parents themselves think when their children are adopted against their wishes. 


Clapton, G (2003) Birth Fathers and their Adoption Experiences.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 1843100126
Interviews with birth fathers in the UK.

Clapton, G (2003) Relatively Unkown: A Year in the Life of the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland.
Scotland Family Care. ISBN 0950811769
This is a collection of over sixty first-hand accounts from those who have used the Register.  Useful for everyone affected by adoption and by all those who work with them.

Clark, G (2008) The Role of Mother and Baby Homes in the Adoption of Children Born Outside Marriage in Twentieth-Centry England and Wales
Family & Community History 11(1), May 2008, pp.45-59

A fascinating article considering the role of mother and baby homes in providing unmarried pregnant girls with accommodation and support while making decisions about their future, and proposing that the unforgiving attitude of families and rejection of the girls by the community influenced decisions to place children for adoption.


Coleman, K and Jenkins E (1998) Elephants Never Forget: Reunions between Birth Parents and Adoptees.
Signature Publications. ISBN 1902138066

This book addresses the processes, problems, sorrows and joys of reunions between birth parents and adopted people.

Collins, P (1993) Letter to Louise.
Corgi.  ISBN 0552137413

Autobiographical account from birth mother. 

Douglas, A and Philpot, T (2002) Adoption: Changing Families, Changing Times.
Routledge. ISBN 0415256852
This book draws together contributions from all those with an interest in adoption: adopted people; birth parents and adoptive parents; practitioners and managers in the statutory and voluntary sectors; academics and policy makers.


Harris, P (2006) In Search of Belonging: Reflections of Transracially Adopted People.
BAAF. ISBN 1903699770
A substantial anthology giving voice to the experience of transracial adoption in the UK through poetry, art, autobiography, memoir and oral testimony from over 50 adoptees. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website

Holloway, S (Editor) (2005) Family Wanted: Adoption Stories 
Granta Books.  ISBN 1862077533
A powerful collection of pieces by writers on adoption, from all three sides of the issue: writers who are adopted, those who have given up children for adoption and those who have adopted.  

Howe, D, Sawbridge, P & Hinings, D (1998) Half a Million Women (new edition).

Penguin. ISBN 0952919702

Readable account of the experience of birth mothers.

Iredale, S (1997) Reunions.
The Stationery Office. ISBN 0117021504
Experiences of 15 people who have had a reunion.

Saffian, S (1999) Ithaka: A Daughter's Memories of Being Found.
Delta Books. ISBN 03853345016
Personal account of reunion.


Trinder, L, Feast, J and Howe, D (2004) The Adoption Reunion Handbook.
John Wiley and Sons Ltd. ISBN 0470094222
This comprehensive and practical 'how to' guide is essential for everyone involved in adoption, particularly those considering searching for information on their birth relatives. It is based on a large-scale research study and draws on real-life experiences of reunions.

Triseliotis, J, Feast, J and Kyle, F (2005) The Adoption Triangle Revisited: A Study of Adoption, Search and Reunion Experience.
BAAF. ISBN 1903699711

For all those with an interest in adoption and the search and reunion experience. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website

Wadia-Ells, S (1995) The Adoption Reader: Birth Mothers, Adoptive Mothers and Adopted Daughters tell their Stories.
Essays and stories by birth mothers, adoptive mothers and adopted daughters. These diverse stories of women's lives illustrate how women have moved through their adoption journeys.
Avalon Publishing Group. ISBN 1878067656

Ward, A. (2012) The Birth Father's Tale.
BAAF. ISBN 9781997585418
In this birth-father memoir, one man reflects on his own experience of losing a child to adoption to show how a traumatic teenage incident complicated his life. Thirty years after the adoption, Ward sets out on a search for his son who was adopted at birth.

Wells, S (1994) Within Me, Without Me.
Testimonies of birth mothers from Australia, New Zealand, USA and UK.
Scarlet Press. ISBN 1857270428

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