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IN SEARCH OF BELONGING:
REFLECTIONS BY TRANSRACIALLY ADOPTED PEOPLE

Edited by Perlita Harris

Published in May 2006 by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering

Price: 17.95 ISBN 1 903699 77 0 Pages 394

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This anthology brings together poetry, art, autobiography, memoir and oral testimony from 57 UK transracially adopted people. They range in age from six to 56 years and include those who were born and adopted both in the UK and countries as different as Kenya and Hong Kong, Cambodia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and El Salvador.

Through a series of intensely moving testimonies, In search of belonging conveys the complexity for black and minority ethnic children of being raised by a white adoptive family. The themes of separation and loss, the search for identity and belonging permeate these accounts, but so does the power of healing and survival, happiness and hope. A wide range of experiences is described, including racism during childhood, placement disruption, visiting country of origin or heritage, reclaiming cultural heritage, searching for birth mothers, fathers and other relatives, becoming a parent, involvement with the psychiatric system and connecting with other transracial and transnational adoptees.
‘You are about to embark on what was, for me, an experience of enlightenment and joy, sadness and tears.

This book is long overdue’, Lemn Sissay, poet

THE COLOURS IN ME:
WRITING AND POETRY BY ADOPTED CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Edited by Perlita Harris

Published in November 2008 by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering

Price: 12.95 ISBN 978 1 905664 59 7 Pages 220

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What do adopted children and young people really feel about being adopted? How do they feel about being parted from birth parents and siblings? How much do they remember of their “previous” lives?

The Colours in Me is a unique collection of poetry, prose and artwork by adopted children and young people. Eighty contributors – ranging from four to 20 years of age – tell it like it is, revealing what it feels like and what it means to be adopted. With extraordinary clarity and candour they describe the huge changes that adoption brings and the impact of these changes on their identity, their relationships and their understanding of the meaning of “family”.

The book is divided into five sections exploring many aspects of the adoption experience:

  • life before adoption;
  • on being adopted;
  • on being parted from birth family;
  • staying in touch;
  • revisiting birth places.

A concluding section contains a series of poignant and encouraging messages to other adopted children/people, adoptive parents and social workers.

This highly original and thought-provoking book – the first of its kind in the UK – is a must read not only for adopted people and their parents, but also for social workers, psychologists, teachers and anyone else seeking to understand what it is like to be adopted.

I think this is a wonderful ultra-touching anthology. It deserves a place on every family’s bookshelf
Jacqueline Wilson, author

About the editor: Perlita Harris is a transracially adopted adult and a lecturer in social work at the Goldsmith's College, University of London. She is available to give presentations (often with contributors from In Search of Belonging) about the themes and issues that arise in In Search of Belonging and The Colours In Me with a particular focus on the complex lifelong experience of transracial adoption and the adoption support needs of transracial and transnational adoptees. She is also available to give presentations and speak at conferences about other aspects of adoption support, drawing upon her own research findings. Perlita is always looking for opportunities to publicise In search of belonging in the media. If you are a journalist and might be able to help, please do not hesitate to contact Perlita (a number of the contributors to the anthology are willing to talk to the media about their personal experiences of transracial adoption, search and reunion).

Click here to send an email to Perlita

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