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Russian Adoption Handbook: How To Adopt A Child From Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan

John H. Maclean; $18.95.

The process of adopting from Eastern Europe or Central Asia can be confusing, thanks to mountains of misinformation, unorganized data, and poor advice. In Russian Adoption Handbook, John H. Maclean, an Atlanta attorney and adoptive father of two, has made the best attempt yet to compile and evaluate resources for prospective adoptive parents.

As a starting point, this book will not disappoint. Maclean uses clear, concise language and a step-by-step approach to lead you through the maze of immigration paperwork, dossiers, court papers and hearings, hotels, orphanages, and airlines. His frank rating of INS offices is entertaining ("rude to people"; "in a class by itself"), and his pointers on Russian culture are on the money. ("Smile, and they'll think you're the village idiot.")

Do we take a stroller, a Snugli or both? Do we make two trips or just one? Can we trust the medical reports? Maclean covers issues big and small, even rating hotels and giving advice on organizing documents. Unfortunately, without appendices or an index, the book has limitations as a reference tool. Don't open the cover without pencil and paper at hand, because every page contains sources, Web sites, phone numbers and names worth keeping. Your handwritten list will help you put this rich data to use, once you've turned the last page.

By Linda Y. Schaake, who hopes to adopt from Ukraine this year. She and her husband live in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Copyright 2001 Adoptive Families magazine. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

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