Love, Loss, and Longing: Stories of Adoption by Carol Shipley

Date: July 1, 2016 Author: Communications Contract Staff Coordinator Categories: Adoptees | Adoption in the News | Guest Blogger | Parent Perspective

Updated Edition with Birth Father Revelations

Written by Carol Shipley 

Written by Carol Shipley 

From the unique perspective of an adoptee, adoptive mother and adoption professional, I wrote “Love, Loss, and Longing: Stories of Adoption” in 2013. Compelled to write this book after I met my birth mother after a half century of longing to know my origins, the two parts of my story—before adoption placement and after—came together. I recount my own healing story of search and reunion as well as the story of my adoptive daughter whose moving reunion with her birth family freed her to embrace her First Nations heritage. I tell  heart-wrenching and life-giving stories of birth mothers as well as the stories of adoptive parents whose tenacity and hope that overpowers despair.

Blending photos and stories with current adoption theory and literature, I highlight the right of adoptees to know their origins, the benefits of open adoption, and the right of gays and lesbians to adopt. My book lends support for better adoption practices and  legislation in the future. It is all about people inside the adoption circle who express generous love for each other in unique ways.

As a result of publicity surrounding this book, I found family members on my birth father’s side. My husband and I and two of our adult children travelled to a hamlet in B.C.— to Yahk and back —to meet them. Again, I felt compelled to write about the search, and the “find.” I learned about the man my birth father was, and addressed the negative birth father stereotype by referencing my work with birth fathers and weaving in relevant bits of adoption literature.  I’ve created two genograms to help you figure out who’s who. The book concludes with a letter of gratitude to my adoptive dad who died as I was approaching adulthood. 

About the updated edition of my book, my colleague, Linda Corsini writes, “Your book is a much-needed resource concerning the often missing perspective of birth fathers. I believe it will be a genuine contribution to our adoption literature base. The voice of birth fathers is often not heard—hopefully the new edition of your book will close that gap!” 

Visit my website at if you’d like to buy a copy or two of the new book. It’s $25 plus shipping.

A final word: Some of us in Canada have written books and articles about adoption, but I encourage those of you who haven't to share your wealth of knowledge, expertise and conviction about the way to do adoption. There is life after retirement—write a book!

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