Finding Fernanda by Erin Siegal

91%

9 Critic Reviews

Siegal does a fantastic job of breaking down a complicated story, and gives voice to the distinct players involved in Guatemalan children being adopted by US families.
-Christian Science Monitor

Synopsis

AS SEEN ON THE CBS SPECIAL PROGRAM "48 HOURS: PERILOUS JOURNEY"

A complex investigation of $30,000 U.S. dollars, four Guatemalan orphans, one nonprofit evangelical Christian adoption agency, an accused family-run child-trafficking ring, one infant cut from her unconscious mother's womb, two missing sisters, and a nine-member Tennessee family who fall into the dark side of international adoption. Author Erin Siegal McIntyre reveals the heart wrenching story of how Mildred Alvarado, a young single mother, embarked on a dangerous mission to reunite with her two kidnapped daughters-- and, simultaneously, how an American housewife, Elizabeth Emanuel, who'd been offered the girls accidentally became a reformer dedicated to an ethical adoption system.

FINDING FERNANDA sheds light on the highly politicized landscape of Guatemala s adoption industry, a multi-million dollar trade that was both highly profitable and barely regulated. Children have been stolen, sold, and placed as orphans in corrupt international adoptions to well-intentioned Western parents ever since the industry began in the 1980s, yet the governments of Guatemala and the United States repeatedly proved unwilling and incapable of regulating the baby trade.

With help of documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests, leaked emails, and key sources inside both the Guatemalan and U.S. governments, Siegal research traces one compelling case of corruption in detail from start to finish. Along the way, the mechanisms surrounding orphan laundering are illuminated, including the roles of baby-finders, caretakers, judges, government officials, and more. This cadena perpetua, or perpetual chain, involves everyone from Guatemalan judges to U.S. embassy officials.
 

About Erin Siegal

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Erin Siegal is an investigative journalist and photographer. Her writing and photography have been published in the New York Times, Time, Curve, Newsweek, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, and with Reuters. She has collaborated on projects with NGOs such as the Urban Justice Center, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations, and in 2009, her reporting on adoption corruption resulted in a fellowship with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Reporting at Brandeis University. Finding Fernanda is Siegal's first book.
 
Published May 15, 2012 by Beacon Press. 320 pages
Genres: Other, Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences, Parenting & Relationships, Professional & Technical, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Finding Fernanda
All: 9 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 0

Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Whitney Eulich on Nov 28 2011

Siegal does a fantastic job of breaking down a complicated story, and gives voice to the distinct players involved in Guatemalan children being adopted by US families.

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Portland Book Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Halley Greene on May 14 2012

Though less stylistically seamless than Tracy Kidder or Benjamin Skinner’s writing, Finding Fernanda nonetheless establishes Siegal as an inspired non-fiction author.

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Adoption Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Kim Phagan-Hansel on Sep 30 2012

"Finding Fernanda" is an incredible piece of investigative journalism. The amount of time, depth of research and commitment to this story is evidenced on every page of this book.

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Dos Lives

Excellent
Reviewed by Spring Leak on Mar 01 2012

A truly heartbreaking account of the ugly brilliance of international adoption and child trafficking. The details are laid before the reader of how poor countries can be exploited and good people mislead and intimidated.

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RH Reality Check

Excellent
Reviewed by Karen Rotabi on Jan 31 2012

I applaud Siegal for writing the book and I am amazed by the details that she documented. To travel in a country with extreme violence against women and investigate organized crime is not for the faint of heart.

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Border Explorer

Good
Reviewed by Billie Greenwood on Mar 03 2012

Finding Fernanda, by introducing us to the people directly impacted in trafficking black market, captures our hearts. Siegel’s determination to investigate, document and communicate an ugly reality in this book, ultimately contributes to a better world.

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Sad City Hartford

Good
Reviewed by Hakaan Loob on Dec 11 2011

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.

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Michael Deibert

Good
Reviewed by Michael Deibert on Dec 11 2011

Along with its moving personal story of a family torn asunder, Finding Fernanda can also be read as a call to action.

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Reform

Good
Nov 02 2011

Finding Fernanda is a scathing page-turner...Let’s hope it is the call to action so desperately needed to clean up and reform international adoption.

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Reader Rating for Finding Fernanda
91%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 39 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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