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The Ultimate Adoption Book, Script, and Film List

Our friend Tami Lee of Ramsey County Libraries asked for LGA to come up with an adoption reading/viewing list. So, I turned to some of the most well read folks whom I know, and this is the fabulous result. Check it and feel free to share.

Many thanks to the following individuals who helped create this list: Andrea Wood, Dr. Hei Kyong Kim, Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen, Sun Yung Shin, JaeRan Kim, Adam Rebholz, Lisa Brimmer, Shannon Gibney, Joy Messinger, Katie Hae Leo, Matthew Salesses, Jane Jeong Trenka, and Dr. John Raible.




Many Lives Intertwined, by Hyun Sook Han

Seed from the East, by Bertha Holt

Comforting an Orphaned Nation, by Tobias Hubinette

Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption, Edited by Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, and Sun Yung Shin

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade, by Ann Fessler

Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption, by Laura Briggs

Transracial Adoption: A Cultural Economy of Race, Gender, and Kinship, by Sara K. Dorow

Beggars and Choosers: How the Politics of Choice Shapes Adoption, Abortion, and Welfare in the United States Paperback, by Rickie Solinger

Kinship by Design: A History of Adoption in the Modern United States by Ellen Herman

Beyond Good Intentions: A Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children, by Cherie Register

Culture Keeping: White Mothers, International Adoption, and the Negotiation of Family Difference by Heather Jacobson

Inside Transracial Adoption, by Beth Hall and Gail Steinberg

International Adoption: Global Inequalities and the Circulation of Children, edited by Diana Marre and Laura Briggs

White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption, by Darron Smith, Cardell Jacobson and Brenda Juarez

A Single Square Picture: A Korean Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots, by Katy Robinson

Parenting As Adoptees, Edited by Adam Chau and Kevin Haebeom Vollmers

Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found, by Jennifer Lauck

Without a Map, by Meredith Hall

I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying, by Matthew Salesses

Different Racisms, by Matthew Salesses

The Last Repatriate, by Matthew Salesses

The Year She Left Us by Kathryn Ma

Bitter In the Mouth by Monique Truong

The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow

Seeds from a Silent Tree: An Anthology by Korean Adoptees, Edited by Jo Rankin

The Language of Blood: A Memoir, by Jane Jeong Trenka

Fugitive Visions, by Jane Jeong Trenka

Rough and Savage, by Sun Yung Shin

Skirt Full of Black, by Sun Yung Shin

The Translation of Han, by Hei Kyong Kim

This Many Miles From Desire, by Lee Herrick

Gardening Secrets of the Dead, by Lee Herrick

The Lost Child of Philomena Lee aka Philomena (reissue), by Martin Sixsmith

Cold War Orientalism, by Christina Klein

Paper Pavilion, by Jennifer Sujin Lee

Magnetic Refrain, Nicky Sa-Eun Schildkraut

Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home, by Kim Sunée

Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging, by Eleana J. Kim

Seed from the East by Bertha Holt (might have to buy used)

50th Anniversary Book from Holt (might not be able to get)

Many Lives Intertwined by Hyun Sook Han

Adoption Papers by Jackie Kay

Beneath a Tall Tree, Jean Strauss

Black baby, White Hands: A View from the Crib by Jaiya John

Bravo Your Life by Mi Soon Burlzaff

Daughter of the Ganges: A Memoir by Asha Miro

Lucky Girl, by Mei Ling Hopgood

Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus: Inside the World of a Woman Born in Prison, by Deborah Jiang Stein

HERE: A Visual History of Adopted Koreans in Minnesota, by Kim Jackson and Heewon Lee

Jesus Land: A Memoir by Julia Scheeres

Secret Daughter: A Mixed Race daughter and the MOther Who Gave Her Away, by June Cross

The Book of Sarahs: A Family in Parts by Catherine E. McKinley

The Mistress’ Daughter by A.M. Holmes

Three Little Words: A Memoir by Ashley Rhodes Courter

We Take Me Apart, by Molly Gaudry

I’m Just Happy to Be Here, by Mark Cugini




How to Be a Korean Woman, by Sun Mee Chomet

Four Destinies, by Katie Hae Leo

N/A, by Katie Hae Leo

Middle Brother, by Eric Sharp

Ungrateful Daughter: One Black Girls story of being adopted by a White Family…that aren’t Celebrities, by Lisa Marie Rollins

Riding in Cars with Black People & Other Newly Dangerous Acts: A Memoir in Vanishing Whiteness, by Chad Goller-Sojourner

Yellow Dress, Marissa Lichwick




First Person Plural, by Deann Borshay Liem

Resilience, by Tammy Chu

Approved for Adoption, Jung Henin

Black Fish, by Gabriela Cowperthwait

Philomena, by Stephen Frears

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, by Matt Reeves

Rise of the Planet of the Apes, by Rupert Wyatt

Adopted, Barb Lee

In The Matter of Cha Jung Hee, Deann Borshay Liem

Outside Looking In: Transracial Adoption in America, Phil Bertelson

The Triumvirate, Jean Strauss (Strauss has several great films)

Closure, Bryan Tucker



2 Comments on The Ultimate Adoption Book, Script, and Film List

  1. brilliant, thank you!

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Tina is Back |

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