Shadows of the Family Tree - a review
Shadows of the Family Tree:
An Adoptee’s Guide to Search
By Amy K. Burt
Shadows of the Family Tree is both Amy Burt's personal story of search and reunion and a guide explaining the means available to adoptees in search of the family they were born into.
In six chapers, Amy describes her own journey and in the mean time addresses many of the issues involved, sealed birth cerificates, search angels, paid finders, confidential intermediaries, search registries, the question to reunite, open record activism, denial of contact.
Shadows of the Family Tree starts with the question about birth stories, how Amy's own daughters love to hear their story being told over and over again and how that desire is made so difficult to adoptees in America. She then describes her own reluctance to search and how she finally made the decision to do so.
In the following chapters Amy explains the various means to search, the various pitfalls to the various methods and the legal and practical obstacles one can encounter.
The book ends with several appendices giving a comprehensive overview of state legislation, search and reunion organizations and listing various sources on the web for further reading.
I found Shadows of the Family Tree both an informative and a pleasant read. The method of presenting her own story while at the same time providing practical and legal information works really well.