Books for Adoptive Parents


The Whole Life Adoption Book  -  Jayne Schooler

It is a practical and straightforward resource book that should be read by adoptive parents. It describes comprehensive coverage of pre-adoptive issues and useful hints on bringing up adopted children.

Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent's GuideLois Melina

This adoption classic provides user-friendly information about children's evolving understanding of adoption from infancy through adolescence.  

Handbook for Single Adoptive Parents - Hope Marindin

Published by the National Council for Single Adoptive Parents, this books is divided into six sections: the mechanics of adoption, managing single parenthood, coping with challenges, personal adoption experiences, frequently asked questions, and research studies whose results demonstrate the success of single parent adoption

Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child: From Your First Hours Together Through the Teen Years -Patty Cogen

Cogen draws on the families who have attended her "First Year Home" groups to create five composite children and their parents.  Through their stories, she offers practical help for everything from language learning to sleep problems, and provides explanations that will help parents reframe troubling behaviors in light of a chiLd's early life experiences.

Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections- Jean MacLeod and Sheena Macrae, editors

This extensive collection of brief essays written by adoptive parents, adult adoptees, and adoption professionals is meant to be used as a "general guide and not as the ultimate resource on any topic."  The unique challenges faced by adoptive families are typically addressed from multiple perspectives and additional resources and online links are included for further reading on many topics.  A reference book to use from your earliest days as a family and to come to over the years, from birth through pre-adolescence.

Real Parents, Real Children, -  Holy van Gulden and Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb

This publication is considered a classic "must have" by many adoptive professionals and families. It contains practical advice for parents on how to communicate with their children about their adoptive identities and assist them through any challenges as they mature.

Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control   -  Heather Forbes and Bryan Post

A book about a parenting paradigm focusing on love and relationship to bring healing and complete connection between parent and child.  The book is a compliment to many seminars on free online resources offered by Heather Forbes.

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft- Mary Hopkins Best

This book offered useful hints for parents who are adopting toddlers. It mainly focused on unique challenges presented at this age and how they might integrate into the adoption experience.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk - Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This is a solution guide for common child and parent conflicts. The authors also further discuss emotional management and concerns by looking at how to improve listening skills and understanding issues.

Twenty Things Adoptive Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew - Sherrie Eldridge

This book addresses and discusses the complex emotional stresses of adopted children. At the same time, it provides different perspectives from adoptees, adoptive parents and adoption experts.

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents- Deborah Gray

A valuable and comprehensive "why to" and "how to" guide for parents and professionals on providing high structure and high nurture parenting for children who have histories of neglect, trauma and attachment issues.  Using vignettes to illustrate her developmental approach, which distinguishes chronological age from emotional age, Gray provides ways to understand the meaning of challenging behaviors as well as specific strategies to promote attachment and, in turn, healthy child development and healthy families.

Brothers and Sisters in Adoption: Helping Children Navigate Relationships When New Kids Join the Family - Arleta M. James

This comprehensive book addresses the needs of each member of a blended adoptive family: the typically developing children already in the family, the children with complex trauma who join the family, and the parents.  Arleta James offers guidance from the beginning of the adoption process, when parents first begin to consider adding to their families, through the adoption itself, and all the way through the family's post-adoptive lifetime.

Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child - Trish Maskew

This book provides practical, real-life information about the emotional, behavioral, school and medical issues as well as addressing the challenges experienced when parenting this special group of children.  Maskew integrates information from adoption professionals, adult adoptees, and adoptive parents - including herself - in this informative, readable, "parent-to-parent" guide.

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self - David M. Brodzinsky, Marshall D. Schecter, Robin Marantz Henig

In this groundbreaking book, the authors used the eight stages of Erik Erikson's psychosocial theory of development as a framework to explore the unique set of issues that adoptees face from infancy through late adulthood.  

Parenting Adopted Adolescents: Understanding and Appreciating their Journeys - Gregory C. Keck

Gregory Keck, adoptive parent, psychologist, and author of Adopting the Hurt Child, provides practical insights, tips, and parenting strategies for the parents of adoption adolescents.  While not a "how to" behavioral guide, Keck's latest book helps parents understand the many challenges and complexities facing their adopted adolescent and is an excellent resource for parents who wish to build healthy, positive, and lasting relationships with their adopted adolescents.

Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive - Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell

The authors, a child psychiatrist and an early childhood and parent educator, draw on their knowledge of child development, attachment theory and neurobiology to provide a guide to learning from your own childhood experiences in order to become a more compassionate and emotionally present parent. Each chapter contains narrative stories, “Inside Out Exercises” and a “Spotlight on Science” section to deepen the reader’s understanding of the material presented. Highly recommended for waiting parents as well as those already parenting.  

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow- Gregory C.K eck and Regina M. Kupecky

The founders of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio have written a must-read for “adoptive parents (who) are not responsible for the development of their children's problems but are responsible for creating the proper environment for change, the motivation for growth, the direction for improvement, and the security needed for comfortable attachment.” They explain what to expect and why, and provide practical “tools and techniques” to implement when faced with challenging behaviors where the typical parenting techniques just don’t work.

Inside Transracial Adoption - Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall

The authors use their professional expertise as founders of PACT, An Adoption Alliance, and their personal experiences as transracial adoptive parents to underscore the message that race matters.  They offer guidance to people considering transracial adoption as well as practical strategies to those already parenting, addressing issues of racial identity, cultural identity, and most importantly, building a family's common identity and purpose: a close and loving family who belong together.

Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past- Betsy Keefer and Jayne E. Schooler

If you are wondering how to tell your child their story, this book presents excellent age appropriate guidelines.  After giving readers a clear understanding of the dangers of keeping secrets, the authors provide a way to begin.  Included are detailed descriptions of actual situations and concrete and practical ways to share information at each age with the goals of ongoing, open and sensitive communication and telling the whole truth over time, even when the information to be shared is difficult.

The Broken Cord - Michael Dorris

Dorris, an anthropologist and author, writes movingly about the joys and challenges of parenting while struggling to understand and then cope with the significant impact of the birthmother's prenatal alcohol use on his adopted son's development.  Part family memoir, part public health history, Dorris also chronicles his interactions with a range of professionals as he investigates what was known about fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) approximately 15 years after the syndrome was first labeled by the medical community.


Children of Intercountry Adoption in Schools: A Primer for Parents andProfessionals - Ruth Lyn Meese

Meese, a special education professor and adoptive parent, reviews the literature and presents what has been learned about children whose early lives were spent in institutionalized settings (in Russia, Romania and China) and the issues which typically arise when they first enter school after adoption.  Focusing on learning, behavior, language development, and emotional functioning, Meese provides guidelines and strategies as well as information on accessing special education services if needed.

Adoption and the Schools: Resources for Parents and Teachers- Lansing Wood and Nancy Ng, editors

This comprehensive book has chapters contributed by parents, adoption professionals, and students themselves.  In addition to sections on "Adoption 101," effective parent-teacher communication, and problematic assignments, there is also information on older children first entering school, special education challenges, and transcultural issues.  Readers will come away with a deeper understanding of the interrelationships between knowledge and attitudes about adoption and a child's experience in school.

An Educator's Guide to Adoption - Institute for Adoption Information

A 22-page, easy-to-read guide, perfect for parents to give to their children's teachers.  Educates teachers about adoption issues and contains practical information on supporting adopted children at school.  Includes sections on positive adoption language, curriculum issues, and how to respond to those sometimes awkward questions or casual comments about adoption.


LifeBooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child - Beth O'Malley

This is a sensitive and practical guide for families to help their children understand their unique life-stories.

Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China -  Kay Johnson  

This serious text offers an in-depth look at the complex social and geopolitical norms that have come together during the last generation in China that has created the situation in which many Chinese families are forced into unthinkable choices in order to make their lives sustainable.

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love
-  Xinran

This book provides an authoritative account of the stories of the women who have had to relinquish their children for adoption.

Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage  - Kay Bratt

Bratt provides one of the few accounts of an inside look at life in a Chinese orphanage.

 Central Ohio Families With Children From China  is a 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit organization
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