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P.U.L.P. Non-Fiction Adoption
Infant adoption; from Madonna, to Brad and Angelina and Rosie herself, there is a new Monster Ball in town.
Here is a book review:
THE PUBLICATION WITH THE EVER-CHANGINGACRONYM
A Book Review by Nicole Maio
"Odyssey of an Unknown Father"
by David Archuletta
Just before her due date, the pregnant girlfriend of David Archuletta abruptly left town and when she returned, she delivered some bad news; while she was away, she had suffered a miscarriage; the couple's baby was gone. But more than a year later she came forward with a surprising confession; she had not miscarried at all, but instead had secretly given up the newborn up for adoption to Children of the World Adoption Agency located in New Jersey.
At this point, Archuletta began digging for answers. At the center of his questioning was the adoption attorney and agency involved in placing his son with an adoptive family. His main concern was why he, as the birthfather had not been notified or contact acted by those facilitating the adoption --- a requirement of New Jersey adoption law --- and given fair chance to exercise his parental rights.
In his self-published memoir, Odyssey of an Unknown Father, local author David Archuletta chronicles his long, multi-year battle against the New Jersey adoption system. That system, he argues, is responsible for the wrongful adoption of his son, having placed the newborn baby in an adoptive family without the birthfather's consent.
Stories about wrongful adoption are certainly not very common, but as Archuletta points out in his book:
"In the world of adoption, this type of deception does not happen much when gauged in numbers and percentages. However, when gauged in human lives, one is more than we should allow."
With many different elements and layers involved, Archuletta's account is indeed a complicated one, and it can be easy to become tangled up in the vast web of information and details that form his case. His anger with his unfortunate situation is apparent, flaring up throughout the book, and much of his writing is emotionally charged. He levels serious accusations against Children of the World Adoption Agency, along with the attorney involved with his son's placement, and goes into much depth presenting his suspicions, that those in charge of the proceeding did not do all that was required of them by law to notify the birthfather of the pending adoption.
Utilizing the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, Archuletta cites numerous documents and letters pertaining to his case to help defend his claims. But he goes further and offers his speculations and theories as to what was going on behind closed doors.
Despite his efforts, Archuletta has never been able to see his son face to face. Acknowledging how much time has passed since his ordeal began, he notes that his intent is no longer to obtain custody but rather just to have a chance to communicate with his son. He writes:
"I must consider my son's life as it is now, a person cannot change one's past; he can only mold his future. Considering this, and after much thought, an attempt to mold my son's future would be to try to change his past. This would be an act against nature. I will not seek custody."
Because it centers on adoption laws, the writing is heavy with legal language, which might make it difficult for this book to speak simply to a larger, more general audience of readers. But beneath all of the specific legal details is a story of a father trying to connect with his lost son; and that is the theme that readers may be able to relate to and sympathize with, even if they have never directly experienced such a situation.