(4) Out of the Shadows

Title: Out of the Shadows: Stories of Adoption and Reunion by Linda Back McKay
Publisher: North Star Press
175 Pages
Genre: Adoption, non-fiction

Synopsis: Linda Back McKay's Out of the Shadows: Stories of Adoption and Reunion (North Star Press, 2012) is both a sequel and companion book to the original Shadow Mothers. It shows the real experiences of birthmothers who felt compelled to give up their babies for adoption during the 1960s and 1970s. Following these stories through time, the book also brings to light the profound and challenging aspects of reuniting with a long-lost child. Out of the Shadows includes new and updated stories, viewpoints from all sides of the adoption triad, advice for reuniting families and discussion points for book clubs.

Review: Ms McKay has put together 11 stories of women who placed their children for adoption and have since been reunited with them.  These stories, told in their own voices, are powerful, sad, joyful and real.  There aren't many books out there that tell the stories of the woman who placed their children for adoption, the loss and emptiness they felt and the joy of reuniting.  Not all the stories ended happily, some didn't remain in contact with their children, while some created wonderful and supportive relationships.  None of them would have traded that reunion no matter what the outcome for anything in the world.  Just seeing their children again was positive for all the women in these stories.

While most of these stories were from women who place their children in a time when out of wedlock pregnancy was forbidden and hidden and open adoption was unheard of the stories are still important.  By learning about these women’s stories, open adoption becomes that much more understandable. To be able to keep that connection open for helps both the birth parents and the children feel whole.