Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chosen-Chandra Hoffman

Chandra Hoffman
Harper, Aug 24 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780061974298

In Portland, Oregon, Chloe Pinter is a social worker and director of the Chosen Child’s domestic adoption program. Her current clients, the recipients wealthy Francie and John McAdoo and the impoverished donor birth parents Penny and Jason, have different demands of Chloe especially when the social worker notices the bassinet in their home. She fears they will not come together in this open adoption.

Chloe warns the McAdoo couple not to count their chickens before they are hatched as the adoption may not occur. Her admonition leads to a series of missteps that places the baby in jeopardy and has Chloe reconsidering the merits of open adoptions that she thought were the best way to exchange a child.

Chosen is a fascinating contemporary tale that focuses on the economics behind adoptions; as the impoverished donor couple struggle to make ends meet while the affluent pair can afford the child. The couples are overly stereotyped as the poor family (including Jason’s brother) are abusive and threatening while the wealthy pair is snooty nouveau riche. Ironically a third couple and Chloe are the sympathetic characters. Still in spite of the hyperbole of the exchange couples, Chandra Hoffman provides an interesting 360 degree look at how several people feel about adoption.

Harriet Klausner

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