Books are a great way of learning about any subject. Whatever stage of your adoption journey you’re at, there’s always a book to help you learn more. So, I thought it would be useful to do a post of some of the adoption books available for parents and children. I’d love to know what your favourite adoption books are – let me know in the comments.
Please note that most reviews will include affiliate links for the book. That means if you click on the link in the article to the book, and then buy it, I get paid a fee from Amazon.
The adoption process
An Adopter’s Guide to Adoption My book is a step by step guide to the adoption process. It covers everything from things you can do to prepare, to the assessment, Panel, matching, placement and beyond. It’s full of advice, information and snippets of our journey.
Preparing for adoption: Everything Adopting Parents Need to Know About Preparations, Introductions and the First Few Weeks by Julia Davis. This book is about how to prepare for your adoptive child and create a strong foundation for a healthy and loving relationship. Julia Davis explains how many different factors can shape preparations for adoption, such as finding out about your child’s history and using this information to establish a family environment which will meet your child’s specific attachment needs. There is also advice on how to prepare your home to create a sense of safety for your child and how to prepare your family to support you as adoptive parents.
Adopting a child: The definitive guide to adoption in the UK by Jennifer Lord. The book provides information about the kinds of children who need adopting; the reasons why people adopt children; what sort of people adoption agencies are looking for and why; how to go about it, including the legal aspects and the costs; about intercountry adoption and adoption of stepchildren; and what happens after adoption.
What to expect when you’re adopting: A practical guide to the decisions and emotions involved in adoption by Dr Ian Palmer. The book draws on extensive research and the author’s own experience of being adopted. It doesn’t gloss over the realities of the adoption process, but rather leads parents through the many stages and emotional aspects involved and offer practical and sensitive advice.
Adoption books about parenting
The A to Z of Therapeutic Parenting: Strategies and Solutions by Sarah Naish. One of a number of brilliant books written by Sarah about parenting children who’ve experienced trauma. Therapeutic parenting is a deeply nurturing parenting style, and is especially effective for children with attachment difficulties, or who experienced childhood trauma. This book provides everything you need to know in order to be able to effectively therapeutically parent. Other books from Sarah include Therapeutic Parenting Essentials: Moving from trauma to trust, Therapeutic Parenting in a Nutshell.
The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting: The Small Stuff, The Big Stuff and The Stuff In Between by Sally Donovan. Sally is an adoptive parent and the book combines her knowledge of trauma and attachment gleaned from training courses and therapeutic parenting experts, with her lived experience of parenting two traumatised children and bridges the gap between the two. She offers realistic advice on how to be ‘good enough’ in the face of both day-to-day and more bewildering challenges responding to meltdowns, overcoming anxieties about changes to established routines and, most importantly, how to be a strong parent who can protect and nurture your adopted child.
First Steps in Parenting the Child who Hurts: Tiddlers and Toddlers by Caroline Archer. The book approaches attachment and developmental issues that can arise. It offers practical, sensitive guidance through the dark areas of separation, loss and trauma in early childhood.
Creating Loving Attachments: Parenting with PACE to Nurture Confidence and Security in the Troubled Child by Kim S Golding and Daniel A. Hughes. The book explores the elements of PACE and how they can help children who have experienced trauma. They need to be parented in a way that helps them feel safe and secure, builds attachments and allows them to heal. Playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy (PACE) are four valuable elements of parenting that, combined with love, can help children to feel confident and secure.
Meant to Be by Lisa Faulkner. When Lisa learned that she couldn’t have biological children, her plans and expectations for her life were derailed. But, in the months and years that followed, she discovered that there was more than one way to build a family – and that there is a lot of joy to be found in life’s unexpected detours.
And Then There Were Four by Emma Sutton. And Then There Were Four is an unforgettable, unputdownable roller coaster through the hilarious highs and pass-the-gin-now-the-tissues lows of infertility, adoption, and parenting.
No Matter What: An Adoptive Family’s Story of Hope, Love and Healing by Sally Donovan. This book tells the uplifting true story of an ordinary couple who build an extraordinary family – describing Sally and Rob Donovan’s journey from a diagnosis of infertility to their decision to adopt two children who suffered abuse in their early life. Heart-rending, inspiring and hilarious, Sally and Rob’s story offers a rare insight into the world of adoptive parents and just what it takes to bring love to the lives of traumatised children.
How I Met My Son: A Journey Through Adoption by Rosalind Powell. When journalist Rosalind Powell and her husband wanted to start a family, they had no idea of the journey that lay ahead. Encountering fertility issues and gruelling IVF treatment to no avail, but still determined to be parents, they set off on the adoption route. After many false starts and dashed hopes they eventually, and luckily, found their son. A candid, compelling and inspirational book about what it means to be a parent of a child that isn’t, biologically, your own.
My Adoption Journey 2015-2019 How My Dream Became A Reality, Yours Could Too by Christopher A Gaidhu-Withell. When Chris and his husband were researching adoption, trying to find hints, tips and general personal experiences on how other same-sex couples had found the process, there was nothing out there. Most of what was out there was the happy elements such as family holidays or days out now that everything has settled. They didn’t show the negativity from the stresses of assessments or the stresses of adjusting to the major changes going on. This is why he decided to write this book, to provide help and advice to those who are going through the same journey that myself and my husband went through.
Me, the Boy, and The Monster: Exploring the psychology of adoption and trauma by Cat McGill. The book is a personal, thoughtful, and touching tribute to a family’s journey through the world of adoption and trauma. McGill has a background in developmental psychology and uses this to great effect; the theory sections of MTBTM are relevant, researched, and related to real-life examples from McGill’s own experience with her adopted son.
AdoptyMum: A Survival Guide To Life With Adopted Kids by Elena Holmes. AdoptyMum and Co look like a normal family. So why is she getting uptight when someone offers her son a biscuit? This is the story of what happens you can’t give birth to children of your own, and you take on kids whose start in life has been… difficult. Join AdoptyMum for a bumpy, scary, life-changing and rewarding ride.
Adoption books for children
The Family Fairies by Rosemary Lucas. This magical rhyming storybook follows a special couple on their journey to a forever family through adoption. The phrase “Family Fairies” imaginatively refers to social workers and foster carers and the book helps adopted children to understand the role these people play in making dreams come true by bringing families together in this way.
The Blanket Bears by Samuel Langley-Swain. This is a beautiful picture book telling the story of two little bears who have no-one to look after them. Their social worker takes them to stay with foster care bears until she can find them a forever family. A lovely, easy to read book to explain the adoption process to children.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst. Parents, educators, therapists, and social workers alike have declared The Invisible String the perfect tool for coping with all kinds of separation anxiety, loss, and grief. In this relatable and reassuring contemporary classic, a mother tells her two children that they’re all connected by an invisible string.
Gus Becomes a Big Brother: An Adoption Story by Heather S Lonczak. The book tells a heart warming adoption story, with special emphasis on how an older sibling, Gus, deals with the anticipation, preparation, and experience of becoming a big brother. As the Barker family embarks on their adoption journey, Gus navigates his way through many difficult emotions; such as anxiety, frustration and jealousy. But with the support and guidance of his parents; Gus ultimately develops patience, empathy, compassion, and a ton of brotherly love.
Katie Careful and the Very Sad Smile: A story about anxious and clingy behaviour by Sarah Naish and Rosie Jeffries. Katie Careful has just moved in with her siblings and their new parents. Even if she’s sad or scared, she smiles and smiles to try and hide her wobbly feelings. She clings on to her Mum’s leg and won’t let go and she even follows her to the toilet, banging on the door to remind her that she’s there. Luckily, her Mum understands why Katie acts this way. Written by a mum who understands and her daughter, who is adopted. This insightful story will help your whole family understand anxiety better.
If you’d like to see what others think of some of these books, click here to read their reviews.