Margaret Etcher Theriault’s birth parents were unable to provide financially for her when she made her debut in the world in 1959. They placed her in a kinship adoption, but never told her who her first parents were.

In her memoir, Theriault details feeling drawn to her aunt (her birth mother) and cousin (her bio sibling) but never knowing why she felt so at home with them, and the conflict she felt between wanting to “stay loyal” to her adoptive parents and also pursue an honest relationship with her biological parents.

Parents of children with attachment disorder will see many familiar themes in Adoption. Theriault struggles in school and in building bonds of friendship and belonging. She feels most at home in her church, and it is her relationship with God and her faith in His plan that gets her through the most difficult times in her life. She details her anger and grief, and how she begins to let the man who would be her husband into her heart.

At its core, Adoption: The Truth Comes Out is a book about the process of grief, and a plea for honesty and openness in adoption. Theriault wants to serve as an example of how not to handle an adoption. She uses her past feelings of never completely belonging to illustrate how kids need to talk with adults about their place in the world, where they came from, and how they fit into their big, messy family—both biological and adoptive.

Adoption: The Truth Comes Out is published by Guardian Books and is available at

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