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Black Fatherhood, Adoption, and Theology

A Contextual Analysis and Response


Michael Lee Cook

Black Fatherhood, Adoption, and Theology: A Contextual Analysis and Response is a qualitative exploration into the complex intersection of Black fatherhood, adoption, and theology. It is primarily based on the narratives of three Black adoptive fathers who formally adopted non-kinship children. The book takes a closer look at these experiences through the three dominant phases of an adoption experience and gives specific attention to the sociological, psychological, and theological dynamics at play. Ultimately, the book provides a constructive pastoral theology of adoption that sets forth guidelines of care for this population of adoptive fathers as well as others with an experience of adoption.
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The preparation and completion of such a complex project is never the work of a sole proprietor, but rather the combined efforts and sacrifices of many committed and supportive people. In my case, there have been many. And while I am only able to give special thanks to several people in this limited space, I am very much indebted to all those who have contributed to my learning and development and inspired me along the way. This certainly includes my dissertation committee consisting of Drs. J. William Harkins, Paul “Skip” Johnson, and Emmanuel Y. Lartey. Thanks, also, to all of my wonderful professors including Drs. Pamela Cooper-White and Edward P. Wimberly.

First, I would like to give special acknowledgement to Dr. J. William Harkins who has been and continues to be one of my greatest inspirations, supporters, and friends. From the moment I met him seven years ago in his office at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, Dr. Harkins has affirmed me as a person and nurtured me as a son. He embodies the essence of a wise sage and has shown ← ix | x → himself to care deeply for others in ways that reveal the divine. Journeying with him has made me a better and more integrated person.

Second, I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Paul “Skip” Johnson and all of the supervisors, staff, and colleagues at the Care and Counseling Center of Georgia. Dr. Johnson was an essential...

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