A Light in the Fog: Creative Writing about Adoption

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Jerry Wemple


Poets and Writers: consider submitting for a panel at the Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, March 7-10, 2024, in Boston. Panelists will read original work focused on some aspect of adoption and participate in a discussion. To submit an abstract, go to https://cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/20738 or the NeMLA website and look for panel 20738. Submission deadline is September 30. 


Panel Description: A recent article in The New Yorker discusses the “emotional aftermath” America’s 7 million adoptees face. The article uses the term “coming out of the fog” to describe an adoptee’s realization, sometimes triggered by an event in adulthood, about their situation and how it influences many aspects of their lives, especially personality and interactions with others. Adoptions were once secretive affairs, often with a birth mother signing away parental rights, and infants and children housed in institutions run by religious charities or the state until claimed by a couple. Contemporary adoption has many faces: open adoption, foster to adoption, transracial and international adoptions. Of course, further complicating the landscape, inexpensive DNA testing makes it possible for adoptees to locate biological families, with a variety of results. This panel asks poets and prose writers, especially adoptees, to share their work on adoption as a way of reflecting on and discussing this complex topic.