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23 Segments




Scott Simon's Family: 'In Praise Of Adoption.'

NPR host Scott Simon became a father for the first time at the age of 50, when he and his wife Caroline adopted the first of their two daughters from China. He describes how he felt becoming a father relatively late in life, how his family changed — and how his daughters continue to inspire him, in a new memoir, Baby We Were Meant For Each Other.


A 'Mother' Lode Of Up-Close Psychological Realism

Rodrigo Garcia's film Mother and Child is his most formally daring, says critic David Edelstein. Starring Annette Bening, Kerry Washington and Naomi Watts, the film centers around the bonds between a birth mother and her children, even after that child is placed up for adoption.


The Joys And Struggles Of International Adoption

Writer John Seabrook was in the process of adopting a baby girl from Haitin when the country was hit by the massive earthquake in January. He writes about his own experience with international adoption -- and the history and perils of the practice -- in The New Yorker.


American Parents Encounter 'China Ghosts'

Journalist Jeff Gammage and his wife Christine have adopted two daughters from China; now Gammage, a staff writer at The Philadelphia Inquirer, has written a book about the experience. It's called China Ghosts: My Daughter's Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood.


'The Girls Who Went Away': Birth Mothers' Stories

Ann Fessler talks about her new book, The Girls Who Went Away. Using her own story of adoption as a basis for her book, Fessler tells the story of over a million women who surrendered children for adoption prior to legalized abortion. Fessler is a photography professor at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Gish Jen's 'The Love Wife'

Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews The Love Wife by Gish Jen. The novel tells the story of Carnegie Wong, a second-generation Chinese American and his complicated family life.


Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal

She stars in the new film Casa de Los Babys, by director John Sayles. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her starring role in the film Secretary. Her other films include Adaptation and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.


A Dark Comedy Is Bolstered by Warmth and Optimism

Film critic John Powers reviews "Secrets and Lies," a film from director Mike Leigh. It won the top prize at this year's Cannes Film festival in May. The movie features actresses Brenda Blethyn and Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who were recently featured on Fresh Air.


Conditions in Chinese Orphanages: China Is No Different than Similar Countries.

Janice Neilson, Executive Director of World Association for Children and parents (WACAP), a non-profit organization for parents who are interested in adopting children at risk worldwide. She has worked with Chinese children's institutions since 1991. Neilson says her observations are "at variance" with the conclusions of the Human Rights Watch report. Neilson urges that China not be judged by our standards but by the "standards of the developing world." She says that Chinese authorities are trying to improve the situation. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)


The Difficult Reunion Between an Adopted Child and Her Birth Mother

Writer Jan L. Waldron was 17 when she gave her baby daughter, Simone, up for adoption. Waldron's own mother was adopted, and in turn left her children when Waldron was eleven. In Giving Away Simone: A Memoir, Waldron tells of the parting and then meeting again with her eleven-year-old daughter, now renamed Rebecca. Rebecca is the fifth generation of women in the family to be abandoned by their mothers; in reuniting with her, Waldron is determined to break that cycle of leaving.


A Personal Look at Foreign Adoptions

Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Bartholet, author of "Family Bonds: Adoption & the Politics of Parenting." In her book, Bartholet --the mother of two adopted Peruvian boys-- examines transracial, single and older-parent families, and challenges current societal priorities about parenting, adoption and infertility.


Linda P. Brown Discusses The Experience of Parents and Children who Reconnect After Adoption.

Author Linda P. Brown is co-author of "Birthbond: Reunions between Birthparents and Adoptees--What happens After." In the 1960's BROWN gave up her own daughter for adoption. The book is based on interviews with 30 birthmothers -- from a variety of backgrounds -- who were reunited with their adult children. And it looks at the challenges these mothers face after the reunion. "Birthbond" is published by New Horizon Press, Far Hills, N.J. (Interview by Sedge Thomson)


Michael Dorris Discusses Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Writer Michael Dorris. He and his wife, Louise Erdrich, have written several novels together, including Love Medicine and Yellow Raft in Blue Water. Both are part Native American, and Dorris spent several years of his childhood on an Indian reservation. He has adopted many children, one of which he later discovered was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Dorris's new book, The Broken Cord, is about this syndrome, and also his personal story of dealing with it in his family.


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