In The Child Catchers, Kathryn Joyce explores the outsized influence of evangelical Christian groups on the overseas adoption industry. The adoption movement has orchestrated a boom-and-bust market that can exploit poor families in countries where regulations are weak and "orphans" may not actually be orphans.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Writer Gail Sheehy is best-known for her book "Passages: Predictable Crises of Adulthood." While in Thailand researching Cambodian children in refugee camps, Sheehy met a 12-year-old girl whom she later adopted. Her book "Spirit of Survival" alternates between Sheehy and her daughter Mohm's perspectives on the events.