Betsy Jennings, MA, Early Childhood Service Coordinator, Harbor Regional Center (a State of California contracting agency)

Ms. Jennings has more than 20 years of experience of serving developmentally disabled children and their foster and biological families in the greater Los Angeles area.

I found Lane’s book incredibly intense, sad, and joyful, all at the same time. Once I started reading, I could not stop because I wanted to see what happened next.

I know that in foster-to-adoption certification classes, prospective parents are warned that the process is complicated and often stressful. Born in the Shadow of the Court illuminates the brutally honest truth of what this may entail. Lane and his partner Jonathan’s experience dealing with the intricacies of public adoption shows how maddeningly flawed the system is, how it pushes to return a foster child to his or her biological family, even when they are completely inappropriate. Yet, their story could be educational too, in giving potential parents an example of a process that isn’t always smooth or gratifying, but ultimately successful.

The thing I loved the most about the book is that no matter how difficult the process was, Lane and his partner never gave up on the girls they were raising. They were very brave. At any given moment, their children could have been removed from their care, yet they went on with their life – the day-to-day routines and the family trips and the adventures – as a family. Lane and Jon’s fortitude and strength in providing a healthy family for these girls is truly inspiring.