"You Should Be Grateful": Stories of Race, Identity, and Transracial Adoption (Hardcover)
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An adoption expert and transracial adoptee herself examines the unique perspectives and challenges these adoptees have as they navigate multiple cultures
“Your parents are so amazing for adopting you! You should be grateful that you were adopted.”
Angela Tucker is a Black woman, adopted from foster care by white parents. She has heard this microaggression her entire life, usually from well-intentioned strangers who view her adoptive parents as noble saviors. She is grateful for many aspects of her life, but being transracially adopted involves layers of rejection, loss, and complexity that cannot be summed up so easily.
In “You Should Be Grateful,” Tucker centers the experiences of adoptees to share deeply personal stories, well-researched history, and engrossing anecdotes from mentorship sessions with adopted youth. These perspectives challenge the fairy-tale narrative of adoption, giving way to a fuller story that explores the impacts of racism, classism, family, love, and belonging.
About the Author
Angela Tucker is the Executive Director of the Adoptee Mentoring Society and a well-known voice in the conversation about interracial adoption. Through The Adopted Life LLC, Tucker blogs, offers regular consulting for agencies and families, hosts monthly Adoptee Lounges for adult adoptees, and spends her weekends mentoring adopted youth. Tucker earned a BA in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University and lives in Seattle with her husband.
“A captivating memoir that also offers an important counterpoint to voyeurism and saviorism in the adoption process.”
“This deeply personal story is also a passionate call to rethink the way we manage and talk about adoption in America.”
“Tucker’s story and the stories of the adoptees she features gives readers access to thoughts adoptees have but might too afraid to tell others or what they talk about amongst themselves.”
“With deft candor and keen insight, ‘You Should Be Grateful’ looks beyond the political and pop cultural myths about adoption to consider, instead, what adoption looks for those who must live it. Tucker grounds her own story in broader discourses on history and legacy, race and racism, and inequity and privilege to explore not just the complicated meaning of transracial adoption but the meaning of family connection. In my years of studying adoption, this is the book for which I have been waiting.”
—Gretchen Sisson, author of Relinquished: The American Mothers Behind Infant Adoption
“This book is so necessary. Angela is well respected among adoptees because of the way she unabashedly advocates for them—whether she’s encouraging adoptees to own their own narratives or coordinating adoption agencies to go back into their files and uncover buried information. I am a fan of hers as a fellow adoptee, but I’ve also had the privilege of covering her work in news stories. Angela teaches us all to live boldly.”
—Michelle Li, cofounder of The Very Asian Foundation
“Angela Tucker brings to the forefront what so many adoptees, specifically transracial adoptees, are feeling and thinking or, to some degree, may have experienced. As an adoptive mother, I am always learning ways to better assist my children through our experiences with adoption, as we know that it is traumatic even in the best of circumstances. Tucker has given my children a hero in their own community, their own village, to look up to, that they can relate to. I’m so grateful.”
—Keia Jones-Baldwin, founder of Raising Cultures
“With clear-eyed and sometimes bracing honesty, Angela Tucker brings powerful insight, nuance, and sensitivity to the complex issues faced by adoptees and their families—all their families.”
—Elan Mastai, writer and co-executive producer of This Is Us
“Angela Tucker has written her heart out here. Get in, adoptees, we’re going for a ride. Tucker hits every emotional note in this honest and necessary debut.”
—Matthew Salesses, author of The Sense of Wonder