New Jersey resident Jessica DelBalzo looks like an average, 20-something mom, but for the past ten years, she has been active in a small but growing radical movement to eradicate adoption. Her new book, Unlearning Adoption: A Guide to Family Preservation and Protection, released this week, offers a controversial look at what she terms, “the sinister side” of American adoption.
DelBalzo’s book details legal and ethical issues involving adoptions of the past and present, as well as psychological consequences faced by adopted people and surrendering parents. In addition to critiquing domestic infant adoption and international adoption, Unlearning... presents the sets of problems that are unique to foster care and modern legalized abandonment laws. Overarching themes throughout the book include advice for individuals and professionals working with adoption affected people, ways to prevent adoption, and alternatives for children who require substitute care.
DelBalzo who is neither an adoptee nor a surrendering parent, says that she came to her anti-adoption perspective “from a completely neutral place.” She explains that she began researching adoption as a student and learned of “the atrocities committed against marginalized families” at home and abroad.
The author founded Adoption: Legalized Lies, an anti-adoption organization which assists families in keeping their children, in July of 1998. DelBalzo reports that divulging her anti-adoption status has frequently landed her in hot water with people who are uninformed about the movement. “There are so many misunderstandings about who we are and what we believe,” she says. “Unlearning Adoption was written as a guide for the average person, dispelling the myths and offering up real alternatives for families in need.”