Throwaway Daughter


295 pages
ISBN 0-7704-2921-1
DDC C813'.54





Reviewed by Patricia Fenton

Patricia Fenton is chair of the Adoption Council of Ontario.


As the provocative title suggests, the theme of this book is
abandonment. In 1980, an infant named Chun Mei (adopted name Grace
Parker) is adopted from China by a Canadian family. Her moving story,
from her birth and adoption to her return to China and reunion with her
birth family, is told from various perspectives: birth family, adoptive
family, and Chun Mei herself. Initially, Chun Mei rejects her
background, but her attitude changes as she learns more about her
country of origin.

Half of international adoptions into Canada are little girls from
China, and the author does a good job of elucidating the factors that
contribute to so many Chinese female children being available for
adoption. However, the title is offensive and grossly distorts the
attitudes of the birth families, represented here by the torment and
anguish experienced by Chun Mei’s birth mother. Recommended.


Ye, Ting-xing, with William Bell., “Throwaway Daughter,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed November 28, 2023,