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Adoption Research: Books & Articles

Selected Books about Adoption & Adoption Research

 Adoption Research and Stories

The Adoption Searchbook by Mary Jo Rillera. 
Westminster, Calif. : Triadoption Publications, 1991, c1981.
A how-to book to guide adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents and siblings to find family members, documents and information.
MNHS Call Number: Reading Room HV875 .R55 1991


Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birth Parents, and Adoptive Parents, by Jean A.S. Strauss.
New York: Penguin Books, 1994.
Maps out a step-by-step process that will guide a researcher through an adoption search. Includes reference sources and true stories.
MNHS Call Number: HV874.82.S77 A3 1994




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.
New York : Penguin Press, 2006.
The history of the 1.5 million women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that de-criminalized abortion.
MNHS Call Number: HV875.55 .F465 2006

Minnesota Adoption Stories

  • Ties that Bind:  The Orphan Train Story in Minnesota by Janet Liebl.
    Marshall, MN : Southwest State University, 1994.
    The story of orphans sent from the cities of the East to be adopted by or indentured to Minnesota families. 
    MNHS Call Number: HV985 .L44 1994
  • Patty's Journey: From Orphanage to Adoption and Reunion by Donna Scott Norling.
    Minneapolis, MN : University of Minnesota Press, 1996.
    The author recounts her troubling experiences in the Owatonna orphanage just before World War II, and her struggle to recover her past and her family.
    MNHS Call Number: PS3564.O5624 A8 1996
  • While the Locust Slept: A Memoir by Peter Razor.
    St. Paul, Minn. : Minnesota Historical Society Press, c2001.
    An Ojibwe man chronicles his survival of abuse and bigotry at a state orphanage in the 1930s and the brutal farm indenture that followed.
    MNHS Call Number: HV6626.53.M6 R39 2001, also available for purchase
  • "Thank you for getting me a nice home and a good mother and father" by Mary Bader Papa.
    Twin Cities (Edina, Minn.).  Vol. 5, no. 12 (Dec. 1982).
    Discusses the founding of the Children's Home Society, orphan trains, "Thursday's Child," and Korean adoption in Minnesota. 
    MNHS Call Number: F613.T1 T852 v.5:12

International Adoption

  • "Are Those Kids Yours?": American Families with Children Adopted from Other Countries, by Cheri Register. 
    New York : Free Press, 1991.
    The author draws on her experience as the mother of two Korean-born daughters and interviews with adoptive families to illustrate the challenges multicultural families face.
    MNHS Call Number: HV875.5 .R44 1990

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