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A retired foreign service officer who worked in Africa, Europe and Asia, Lewis Richard Luchs has had a lifelong interest in adoption and other children’s issues. He served as a CASA volunteer for five years, at which point he left in order to finish his book, Children of the Manse. Luchs says that he wrote the book to honor his heroes—adoptive parents—and to counteract the stereotypes in literature and other media of unhappily adopted children and inept adoptive mothers.

Children of the Manse is an adoption success story in which Luchs shows that neglected and abused children do not have to follow in the footsteps of their failed parents. Luchs’s biological father, an aunt and an uncle spent years in penal institutions while eight cousins grew up in children’s homes. He and his siblings were spared this fate, he believes, because of the intervention of intelligent, responsible and loving adoptive parents.

Another reason that Luchs wrote Children of the Manse was to emphasize that an adoptive relationship can be as deep and loving as any biological relationship. He thought of Evelyn Luchs as his “true, forever and only mother.” Later in life, Luchs’s experience as a CASA volunteer made him come to the uncomfortable conclusion that “we are too tolerant of neglectful and abusive biological parents.”

A secondary hero in the book is the social worker, a vital partner in the child welfare system. As a CASA volunteer, Luchs worked with social workers who were all dedicated professionals. In one of the chapters in the book, “An Angel Arrives,” he describes the social worker assigned to his case. She managed to place the boy, then 7 years old, in a family together with his siblings. As the author puts it, “It is unlikely the Luchs would have adopted the four of us instead of the one little girl they had asked for without [the social worker].” She was also instrumental in persuading Luchs’s siblings to leave the familiar surroundings of the county children’s home for the home of an unknown couple whose only guarantee was the social worker’s word.

Children of the Manse depicts the transfiguration of abused children into strong, responsible and productive adults. It shows the importance of the social worker who was instrumental in changing the children’s fate. But the focus is on the adoptive parents who, with love and intelligence, brought the children back to physical and emotional health.


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Lewis Richard Luchs is a retired Foreign Service officer who worked in seven capitals in Africa, Europe, and Asia and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in l985. 

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© Copyright 2009 Lewis Richard Luchs. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system without permission from the Lewis Richard Luchs, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.Children of the Manse, by Lewis R Luchs. Published October, 2009. Children of the Manse entertains as it describes how four wounded children respond to intelligent and loving foster care. ISBN 978-0-578-03523-9, 9780578035239

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