Sunday, December 11, 2011
Book Review: Finding Fernanda
Erin Siegal went to high school with Hakaan in the sleepy Connecticut suburbs just outside Hartford. While Hakaan went onto be fascinated by the modern American urban experience and write a silly, albeit somewhat successful blog about Hartford, Erin has gone onto become a proper journalist and author a book on child trafficking in Guatemala. These days she is working in Tijuana and probably seeing things that would make even the most hardened Hartfordite's eyes pop out.
We received Finding Fernanda about a month ago. It's kind of surreal to see the name of someone you grew up with on the cover of a real and proper book, but there it was. Very cool. We continued to get more impressed as we turned the pages.
Finding Fernanda is the non-fiction story of both a Guatemalan mother and an American women searching to find Fernanda, a young girl who was taken from her birth mother and put up for adoption. When a mid-western American family intends to adopt her and add Fernanda to their family, they fall in love with pictures and videos the adoption agency sends of Fernanda.. When they are suddenly told that Fernanda is no longer available to be adopted, the women who intended to adopt Fernanda is heartbroken and startes to starts to search for the child from the States. Eventually her path crosses with Fernanda's birth mother who has been searching for her daughter in Guatemala for over a year.
Finding Fernanda uses U.S. Embassy cables and exhaustive reporting to bring to the light the human trafficking aspect of the international adoption industry and the U.S. Embassy's awareness of the potential of stolen children being adopted into the U.S. from Guatemala. The story follows a U.S. adoption agency that cloaks itself in religion and deflects any suspicions from clients by telling them "it's God's plan" while profited handsomely from adoptions that are at the very least extremely questionable and more likely cases of human trafficking. Finding Fernanda shines a light on the most disturbing aspect of adoptions, children being stolen in the name of profits. Finding Fernanda is a must read for anyone who has been involved in adoption or is considering international adoption and an excellent read for anyone concerned about human rights and human trafficking. A remarkable job of reporting and storytelling.
Follow Erin Siegal on Twitter here.
Order Finding Fernanda on Amazon.