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In the complicated world of adoption reform, highly charged terms like "open adoption," and "sealed records" and "search and reunion" create passionate debate on both sides. In his new book, Mike Chalek tells a compelling story from the point of view of a former adoptee who discovered the truth of his black market adoption late in adulthood. He fought back against the courts that covered up the fraud--and against his abusive adoptive family--by finding his birth family and with their blessing having the fraudulent adoption annulled and his rightful identity restored. When it comes to adoptee rights, Mike's case was a landmark victory in bringing to light the pitfalls of closed adoption practices and the social oppression that existed for young single mothers during the 1950s and 1960s, a time otherwise known as the Baby Scoop Era. It was a time that created a thriving black market in human trafficking, and that left many developed countries struggling under the constraints of unfriendly adoption legislation that is anti-family and denies adoptees their basic civil rights. Whatever you currently believe about the closed adoption system and about adoptees' rights to their own genetic information, this book is a starting point for reexamining our country's treatment of a significant minority population whose time has come, that of the adult adoptee. This title is published by Universal Technical Systems, Inc. and is distributed worldwide by Untreed Reads.
Published: Untreed Reads on Nov 23, 2012
ISBN: 9780988535152
List price: $4.99
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Despite the occasional sentence fragment, I was impressed with this book. Mike Chalek was adopted by parents who abused and neglected him. After leaving their home as a teenager he began a long, drawn-out search for his birth parents. What he discovered was a web lies, deceit and governmental incompetence which allowed him to successfully petition to open his birth records and later to have his adoption legally reversed. The story is told unsentimentally and Chalek is open about the fact that his relationship with his birth family was far from perfect. The book forced me to review my own ideas on closed adoption. The case study it presents shows all of the ways that the adoption process is easily corrupted by the very people who should protect it. Closed adoption makes the investigation and oversight of the process extremely difficult and it should probably be abolished.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Mike Chalek's book is an attempt to describe the frustrations of trying to uncover the truth when the legal system seems to be stacked against you. Adopted as an infant under questionable circumstances, Mr. Chalek describes how he doggedly pursued lead after lead until he finally discovered just how irresponsibly some adoptions have been handled.The book is a little uneven, and does not make much effort to discuss the role legitimate adoption plays in society, how many adoptees live complete, productive and successful lives without needing to find their birth parents, and how the law has changed to prevent cases like his from happening - including setting up machinery that can enable an adoptee to find the birth parents - if the birth parents want to be found. In this last regard, Mr. Chalek perhaps becomes too concerned with his own case, and not sensitive to the situations of others. He no doubt had a terrible childhood, but he could advocate on behalf of adopted children - he misses the chance.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My first experience of this type of non-fiction, the type “it happened to me and I NEED to tell it” and although I am keen on non-fiction, I must admit it this type (if it is typical) appear to be not my cup of tea at all.Not ever having lived in the US, I think I will put down my dislike of this book to a “difference of culture” and leave it at that.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I don't know what it's like to not know my birth parents. And while reading Fraud on the Court, it occurred to me that I took that gift for granted.First of all, I commend Mike Chalek for having the presence of mind, at such a young age no less, to learn, grow and eventually escape his toxic childhood home. Not many would be ready for adulthood after what Chalek experienced, and he survived relatively unscathed except for a deep longing to know his biological mother and father. This was more than just a case of an adoptee mismatched with unsuitable parents. Mike grew up in an physically and emotionally abusive household, and that he apparently went on to live a normal life is a happy ending all by itself.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Despite the occasional sentence fragment, I was impressed with this book. Mike Chalek was adopted by parents who abused and neglected him. After leaving their home as a teenager he began a long, drawn-out search for his birth parents. What he discovered was a web lies, deceit and governmental incompetence which allowed him to successfully petition to open his birth records and later to have his adoption legally reversed. The story is told unsentimentally and Chalek is open about the fact that his relationship with his birth family was far from perfect. The book forced me to review my own ideas on closed adoption. The case study it presents shows all of the ways that the adoption process is easily corrupted by the very people who should protect it. Closed adoption makes the investigation and oversight of the process extremely difficult and it should probably be abolished.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Mike Chalek's book is an attempt to describe the frustrations of trying to uncover the truth when the legal system seems to be stacked against you. Adopted as an infant under questionable circumstances, Mr. Chalek describes how he doggedly pursued lead after lead until he finally discovered just how irresponsibly some adoptions have been handled.The book is a little uneven, and does not make much effort to discuss the role legitimate adoption plays in society, how many adoptees live complete, productive and successful lives without needing to find their birth parents, and how the law has changed to prevent cases like his from happening - including setting up machinery that can enable an adoptee to find the birth parents - if the birth parents want to be found. In this last regard, Mr. Chalek perhaps becomes too concerned with his own case, and not sensitive to the situations of others. He no doubt had a terrible childhood, but he could advocate on behalf of adopted children - he misses the chance.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
My first experience of this type of non-fiction, the type “it happened to me and I NEED to tell it” and although I am keen on non-fiction, I must admit it this type (if it is typical) appear to be not my cup of tea at all.Not ever having lived in the US, I think I will put down my dislike of this book to a “difference of culture” and leave it at that.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I don't know what it's like to not know my birth parents. And while reading Fraud on the Court, it occurred to me that I took that gift for granted.First of all, I commend Mike Chalek for having the presence of mind, at such a young age no less, to learn, grow and eventually escape his toxic childhood home. Not many would be ready for adulthood after what Chalek experienced, and he survived relatively unscathed except for a deep longing to know his biological mother and father. This was more than just a case of an adoptee mismatched with unsuitable parents. Mike grew up in an physically and emotionally abusive household, and that he apparently went on to live a normal life is a happy ending all by itself.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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