Brenda Craig, Social Worker for Family and Children Services, Human Services Agency, City and County of San Francisco

Ms. Craig has over 28 years of experience in child protective services.

I found Born in the Shadow of the Court hard to put down. Yet at first, I felt reluctant to read it because so much of it I already see at work. Lane’s book takes you on an in-depth emotional rollercoaster ride: just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, things change. And that’s how it is, unfortunately, in the reality of adopting from the foster system. In many ways, the process is random, case-by-case, and everyone is fragile.

Reading the book, I was reminded that the system often forgets about the adoptive parents. They are equally fragile, they are experiencing stress too. It is something we need to be mindful of. Fost-adopt parents are faced with numerous challenges, trying to navigate all facets and key players of the government bureaucracy (social workers, judges, attorneys, and so on) in hopes of adopting children. At the same time, these parents are often the afterthought when they are the ones putting the children to bed and feeding them.

Lane really opens himself up in Born... He is very transparent. He holds nothing back. His book really shows what it takes to live through this process.