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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
The admittedly concise collection of short articles compiled by Janine Myung Ja in the booklet Adoptees: We Are Not Who They Think We Are, while meant to introduce readers to the often-volatile subject of Adoptee Rights, actually delivers a huge and revealing punch way beyond its modestly stated agenda of presenting the alternative point-of-view to the more commonly accepted wisdom stated by professional adoptive institutions. The author is an active, compassionate voice for adoptees in general, asserting their basic and essential human rights – especially the right to be heard. One such revealing counterpoint of view: “Wisdom gained from experiences like hers provide evidence that "poverty-stricken" children do not have to be taken out of their "dire" situation, or nation of birth, to be happy.”
Including personal background information as well as story excerpts from other interested parties, Janine Myung Ja does not resort to angry diatribe in Adoptees. Rather, she presents a compelling, rational, highly-researched foundation for advocating an evolutionary appraisal of the adoption world, followed by an equal inclusion of adoptee voices in creating positive change in the system. What makes her collection so compelling is the deeply personal revelations of the writers regarding their unique experiences, the profoundly troubling reports (much understated) of mental and physical abuse, as well as the startling recognition of how severely adoption procedures and practices are weighted in favor of existing, profit-motivated institutions as opposed to adoptee rights and consideration. Prepare to have your comfortable preconceptions challenged. Plan to be grateful for these highly illustrative writings of Janine Myung Ja.