Newbridge woman writes book based on her personal experience of becoming an adoptive mother

Launch in Riverbank on October 13

Leinster Leader reporter

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Newbridge woman writes book based on her personal experience of becoming an adoptive mother

The new book

Newbridge woman, Mari Gallagher is bringing out a new book, based on her own personal experience of becoming an adoptive mother of two children adopted from abroad.

"Becoming a Mother: Reflections on Adoptive Parenthood" will be launched as part of the Kildare Readers Festival at 5pm in the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge, on Saturday 13 October.

Mari is a psychotherapist and adoptive parent to two internationally adopted children. Her articles have been published in Irish Medical News, Irish Medical Times, Irish Times and The Irish Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Mari is a regular speaker at Barnardos post adoption training workshops.

Since 1991, over 5,000 children have been adopted to Ireland from forty-one different countries around the world – countries as diverse as Uzbekistan, Thailand, Ethiopia and China. These children join more than 44,000 children and adults who were born and adopted here in Ireland.

However, not many of their stories have been written. "Becoming a Mother" is the first book by an adoptive parent about her experiences adopting a child from outside Ireland.

Mari’s story tells of the pain of longing for motherhood through to the meeting with her beautiful son and daughter in Russia and Kazakhstan respectively. She describes the challenges and joys of meeting the particular needs of adopted children, from practical attachment parenting to helping them find out important birth information.

The book teases out the complexity of emotions and bureaucratic hurdles in the adoptive process, drawing from Mari’s own personal experience, and explores the reality of becoming an adoptive parent.

There are very few books, if any, available on the subject of ‘inter-country’ adoption from an Irish perspective.

The book has a particular focus on inter-country adoptive parenting as well as looking at adoption from the other viewpoints: those of the adopted person and the birth parent.

This book seeks to fill that void by exploring issues around the topic of adoption: the secrecy and silence that still pervades adoption; the primal desire to parent that drives adoptive parenting; the tumultuousness of search and reunion; the tragedy of adopted children delaying their search for the birth parent.  Elsewhere in the book there are shared experiences and tips on bonding with the adopted child as well as a look at parenthood for the adopted person.

"Becoming a mother by adoption is different to giving birth…The differences between parenting by biology (linked by blood) and adoption (linked by love and law) are what make adoptive parenting in equal parts fascinating and painful," said Mari.

A portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to Barnardos.