Pre –Adoptive and Adoptive Parents Books and Resources For Pre-Adoptive Parents

Adopting After Infertilityby Patricia Irwin Johnson.  A book to help you and your partner assess where you are at; when and how you are able to move from medical treatments to adoption.

In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You to Know About Adoption, By Elisabeth O’Toole (2010).  An excellent book for grandparents, other relatives, friends and anyone you want to understand what you are going through and how many facets of contemporary adoption work. The hope is that in understanding all of this, they will be able to communicate with you and your child with greater insight and sensitivity. One Christmas, an IAC Center client bought 19 copies as gifts for everyone that was important to her!

A Love Like No Other:  Stories from Adoptive Parents. Pamela Kruger and Jill Smolowe. This anthology features twenty leading writers, all of them adoptive parents as well. They share their personal experiences with humor, poignancy, and candor. Since every type of family is covered (single, married, divorced, domestic and international adoptions, transracial, same-race, special needs, open, and those with supportive and non-supportive extended families, post-adoption depression, birth parent searches), you are sure to learn from and relate to some of them. And the bonus is that it is well-written too. (A Joni Mantell’s favorite for pre-adoptive and adoptive parents.)

Adoption Nation:  How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America Adam Pertman.  This multiple award-winning book explores the history and human impact of adoption, explodes the corrosive myths surrounding it, and tells compelling stories about its participants as they grapple with issues relating to race, identity, equality, discrimination, personal history, and connections with all their families.

A good gift for a family member or friend that may related to a more sociological intellectual approach to understanding what you are experiencing in adopting…

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craftby Mary Hopkins-Best – The author is a child development expert and mother of a child adopted as a toddler.  She provides a guidebook for those considering toddler adoption or those already struggling with its special challenges. She provides strategies for dealing with issues such as a grieving toddler or attachment disorder.  She also explains normal toddler development and possible variances in the adopted toddler.

Adopting on Your Own Lee Varon.  Feels like a good friend’s guide to adopting as a single. She describes the emotions, issues and also gives practical advice.

Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood: Firsthand Advice, Tips and Stories from Lesbian and Gay Couples – Eric Rosswood. This book explores five different ways to become parents as an LGBT couple – domestic and foster adoption, surrogacy and other assisted reproductive technologies, and co-parenting. Each section presents several real families’ stories packed with poignant details and practical advice.

You can Adopt: An Adoptive Families Guide by Susan Caughman and Isolde Motley.  Written by the editor of Adoptive Families magazine, this book is full of practical, realistic adoption advice from leading attorneys, doctors, social workers, and psychologists, as well as honest, intimate stories from real parents and children.


There are many “how to adopt” books but because the domestic and international adoption options are always changing, and you will want up-to-date and personalized information, we recommend a Pre-adoption Consultation at IAC Center. IAC Center is unique in that we provide adoption counseling but do not place children for adoption and are not affiliated with any agency or attorney. In one hour you will learn about all of the best options for you from an unbiased and experienced perspective. This should save you hundreds of hours on the internet!


For Adoptive Parents

A Love Like No Other:  Stories from Adoptive Parents. Pamela Kruger, &, Jill Smolowe. This anthology features twenty leading writers, all of them adoptive parents as well. They share their personal experiences with humor, poignancy and candor. Since every type of family is covered (single, married, divorced, domestic and international adoptions, transracial, same-race, special needs, open, and those with supportive and non-supportive extended families, post-adoption depression, birth parent searches), you are sure to learn and relate to some of them. And the bonus is that this book is well-written. (A Joni Mantell’s favorite for pre- adoptive and adoptive parents.)

Talking with Young Children About Adoption. Mary Watkins & Susan Fisher. A more psychologically oriented books to help adoptive parents with understanding and talking to their children about adoption. Has depth and gives good examples of how to talk with your child about their origins and some of the tough issues – through frank talk, stories and play.

Raising Adopted Children: Practical, Reassuring Advice for Every Parent. – Lois Ruskai Melina. As the title states this is a how-to parents’ guide. The more typical issues at different ages and stages are addressed.

Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens – Deborah Riley. The “six most common adoption stuck-spots” for teens are identified. Parents will gain a greater understanding of teens perspective on the complexities of adoption, including the quest for identity; and also learn how therapy may help adoptive families learn and grow together.

The Family of Adoption – Joyce McGuire Pavao. A description of the “normative developmental life tasks experienced by adoptees”.

W.I.S.E. Up!  Powerbook – Marilyn Schoettle. A workbook to help children deal with awkward situations with their peers or even with insensitive adults, when issues of adoption or their personal history arise.

Adoption and the Schools:  Resources for Parents and Teachers – Lansing Wood & Nancy Ng. From tots to teens, school can often be a challenge for the adopted child. This book includes ideas and materials parents can use to educate the educators about adoption, diversity, inclusion, language, and special educational needs. A great book to gift to your child’s teachers.

Parenting Children Adopted as Toddlers or Older

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents. by Deborah D. Gray. Attaching in Adoption is a best-selling, comprehensive guide for prospective and actual adoptive parents on how to understand and care for their adopted child and promote healthy attachment. Parenting techniques are matched to children’s emotional needs and stages, and checklists are included to help parents assess how their child is doing at each developmental stage. The book covers a wide range of issues including international adoption, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and learning disabilities, and combines theory and direct advice with case examples throughout.

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory C. Keck. In this sequel to their Adopting the Hurt Child (1998), Keck and Kupecky explore how parents can help adopted or foster children who have suffered neglect or abuse. They begin by outlining changes in adoption and fostering procedures in recent years and use case studies to document the friction and disruption introduced into a household when a hurt, adopted child is brought into the family. The authors examine attachment disorders and control issues as well as parenting techniques that work and those that don’t work.

The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family By Karen Purvis.  “The Connected Child” is a bestselling book that is highly recommended for anyone considering adoption or foster care of children and is particularly important for families with any child who has experienced the trauma of abuse, neglect, abandonment, loss of parent, divorce, or other intensely emotional circumstances.

Additional Resources:

Tapestry Books at www.tapestrybooks.com has a vast selection of adoption books.

Adoptive Families Magazine at www.adoptivefamilies.com  is an award-winning resource for parents-to-be navigating the adoption process; and for adoptive parents. Articles cover the widest range of topics that often offer tools that can be immediately applied to situations.

How to Talk to Your Kids about Adoption IAC Center Workshop

This workshop is for adoptive parents, and for pre-adoptive parents seeking home study credits.

See our Multicultural and Transracial Adoption Book list for more books for parents and for children on these topics. A few quick picks:

  • A Euro-American on a Korean Tour at a Thai Restaurant. Chris Winston’s book explores the perspective of an adoptive parent of adoptees from Korea who are now adults. Some of her ideas for helping children with cultural heritage are cutting edge.
  • Inside Transracial Adoption. Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall use academic research, social reality, and personal experience to provide guidance for individuals considering transracial adoption, and for parents who already have children of more than one background.

Support Organizations and Conferences

The Adoptive Parents Committee (APC) www.adoptiveparents.org is a non-profit parent support group comprised of volunteers dedicated to educating about all aspects of adoption and interim (foster) care.  There are four chapters: Long Island, New York City, New Jersey and the Connecticut/Hudson Region.

APC offers an amazing Conference in November that covers pre-adoption and modern adoptive parenting. SEE: https://www.adoptiveparents.org/annual-conference/ Scheduled for Sunday November 19, 2017 at St. Francis College in Brooklyn (a Joni Mantell favorite.)

Concerned Persons for Adoption (CPFA) www.cpfanj.org is a member-based New Jersey support group for anyone concerned with adoption.

CPFA offers a Conference in the Spring that addresses toddler and older child adoption, search and reunion and also includes a few workshops on how to adopt as well. See: http://www.cpfanj.org/conference2.aspx

 

Based in Pennington, NJ