Mary Juusela
Debut book

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Adoption - The ties that makes us family

Swedish title: Adoption - Banden som gör oss till familj

Having inherited your father's big nose may not be that fun, but at least it shows a kinship. For an adopted family ties look different. But how does that affect identity? And how do adoptees look at themself and their family? Can a family really consist of both black and white people not sharing the same family genes?

The ties that makes us family

The Swedish journalist and author Mary Juusela (B.A in Journalism at Södertörn University College and MS.c in General Management at Stockholm School of Economics) have met and interviewed twenty-nine Swedish adoptive families,all together over a hundred individuals (mothers, fathers, siblings and adopted children), and together they tell - in some cases painful and in other gratifying - about how they have found their roles as parents and children in a family situation where genetic bonds lack.

Mary Juusela writes in the book about why she chose to meet with the families: "To portray a complex relationship as adoption it was to me naturally that everyone in the family should be involved. Noone has the sole idea of a whole family. The ownership of the adoption is as much the parents as the siblings as the adoptees. Of course I as an adoptee have my views and opionions, as it is me who is adopted. But without the contribution of my parents' thoughts about how it has been, and still is, to live with me who is adopted, how it has affected the family and family ties, the story of the family will not be fully described, it will be biased only after my experience." The first adoptees in the book came to their new families in the 1960s, the last was adopted in 2009. The picture of adoption and adoptive families that emerges in the book is not one but twenty-nine, and yet at the same time, more than 110 since each and every family member is an individual with their version of adoption and the life they live. When the families opens their doors to their lives, the reader views on a plethora of bands that make them family. They share with the reader the love as well as the pain and obstacles on their way on becoming a family. The book Adoption -banden som gör oss till familj also shows the complex clash between an adoptive individual's own perception of himself - being Swedish in heart and soul (being upbrought in Swedish culture, values and language) but always looking like something else on the outside (thus being treated like a immigrant and at times encounter rasism and ignorance).

An exciting and multifaceted picture of adoption is being portraited when reading the many lifestories in the book. What might be most clearly is something so obvious as that adoptees and adoptive families are not a homogenous group but as different as any family anywhere. This is a unique way of taking part of their voices and experiences of how 29 adoptive families and more than 110 individuals have found their roles as parents and children when environment plays the greater role.

Released: September 2010
Swedish ISBN number: 978-91-1-302652-7

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