Canadian Council of Natural Mothers' Library


Adoption Healing...A Path to Recovery

Joe Soll

Joe Soll is an adoptee and a therapist who has worked extensively with adopted individuals and others involved in adoption. This book summarizes what he has learned about the effects of adoption on those who are adopted, their first families and their adoptive families.

The book draws from many sources in examining the effects of adoption, including both published works and Joe's personal experiences. It is a hard book to read, because he speaks plainly about the harmful consequences done to a child when that child is separated from his or her mother and given to another family to raise. He explains the trauma of separation from the mother for the pre-verbal infant, the trauma of discovering or realizing that one is adopted and the fracturing that often occurs for children in dealing with these first two traumas.

The focus of the book is not on the difficulties faced by adopted individuals but on how to heal these children and adults and ultimately, this makes it a hopeful book. Each chapter includes

  • brief statements of myths and corresponding facts about the chapter topic
  • an explanation
  • a summary
  • an exercise
  • a sensitive response to how one might feel having read and thought through the chapter.

This structure allows one to quickly find the parts that are relevant, or to spiral through the topics for more thorough understanding.

If one is new to the issues in adoption, this is a good compendium of information to come up to date. If one has already read a lot in the area, this is an excellent resource because it combines many other more fragmentary sources of information in one book.

  • Adoptees can read it to find the parts that fit for their life journey.
  • Natural parents will understand what the child they lost to adoption may have experienced which will help them to love and deal openly with their son or daughter upon reunion.
  • Adoptive parents can read this book to understand how they can help the child they received to overcome the on-going trauma of losing their natural parents.
" It's the best book I've read so far on those adopted. It's honest. No. 1 for me with this book is that Joe Soll acknowledges that natural mothersdid not have choice or options. He does say that we run a parallel course with those adopted but does not speak for us just acknowledges. At least I didn't think he was speaking for us."

Reviewer: Sandra Falconer Pace


(2000) Baltimore, MD:
Gateway Press. ISBN: 0-9678390-0-9


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