books about adoption for adults

Adoption is a deeply personal journey that touches the lives of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees in profound ways. Each participant grapples with their own emotions, challenges, and triumphs throughout the process. Understanding the diverse perspectives and needs of each stakeholder group is crucial for fostering empathy, communication, and support within the adoption community. 

Books serve as invaluable resources, offering a wealth of knowledge, insight, and guidance to individuals navigating this complex terrain.

Support for Adoptive Parents

Before delving into the list of resources supporting adoptive parents, it’s crucial to recognize the profound responsibility they undertake in nurturing and guiding a child through the adoption journey. Adoptive parents face unique challenges and joys as they prepare to welcome a child into their family. 

These resources offer support, understanding, and practical guidance empowering adoptive parents to navigate the complexities of adoption with compassion and resilience.

The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole by Lori Holden

Holden’s book serves as a compassionate and practical guide for adoptive parents navigating the complexities of open adoption. Drawing on her own experiences as an adoptive mother, as well as insights from adoptees and birth parents, Holden offers invaluable advice on building and maintaining healthy relationships with birth families. By emphasizing empathy, communication, and respect, she empowers adoptive parents to create nurturing environments where children can thrive and develop a sense of belonging.

Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent’s Guide by Lois Ruskai Melina

Melina’s comprehensive guide offers adoptive parents a roadmap for understanding and supporting their children through the adoption journey. With sensitivity and expertise, she addresses common concerns and questions, from talking to children about adoption to navigating identity and belonging. She provides practical strategies and reassuring guidance, equipping adoptive parents with the tools they need to foster healthy development and strong family bonds.

Adoption, It’s Worth It! by Kimberly Purnell Moody

Moody’s heartfelt exploration of adoption celebrates the joys and challenges of building a family through adoption. Drawing on her own experiences as an adoptive parent, as well as those of others, she offers candid reflections and practical advice on navigating the adoption process. From managing expectations to building support networks, Moody’s book inspires and empowers adoptive parents to embrace the journey with courage, resilience, and love.

Adoption Unfiltered by Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard, Lori Holden, and Sara Easterly

This book is a helpful resource for everyone involved in the adoption process. Sara Easterly (adoptee), Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard (birth parent), and Lori Holden (adoptive parent) interview various adoption stakeholders, including adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, social workers, therapists, and allies, discussing the challenges in adoption openly. The book fosters understanding and healing by promoting truth and transparency in the adoption process.

Other Ways for Adoptive Parents to Prepare for Adoption

Beyond seeking guidance from books and resources, adoptive parents can take proactive steps to prepare themselves emotionally, mentally, and practically for the adoption journey. Here are some additional strategies to consider:

Attend Adoption Education and Training Programs

Many adoption agencies offer education and training programs for prospective adoptive parents. These programs cover a wide range of topics, including the adoption process, attachment and bonding, transracial adoption, and navigating open adoption relationships. Participating in these programs can provide valuable insights and skills to help adoptive parents feel more prepared and confident.

Connect with Support Networks

Building a support network of other adoptive parents can provide invaluable guidance, understanding, and solidarity throughout the adoption process and beyond. Joining support groups, online forums, or attending local meetups can offer opportunities to share experiences, ask questions, and receive support from others who have walked a similar path.

Engage in Self-Reflection and Education

Adoptive parents can benefit from engaging in self-reflection and education to explore their own motivations, expectations, and biases related to adoption. Reading books, attending workshops, and engaging in discussions about adoption-related topics can deepen understanding and awareness, helping adoptive parents navigate challenges and decisions with greater empathy and insight.

Prepare Your Home and Family

Creating a welcoming and supportive environment for the adopted child is essential for their adjustment and well-being. Adoptive parents can prepare their home by setting up a child-friendly space, gathering necessary supplies, and familiarizing themselves with child development and parenting strategies. Additionally, discussing adoption openly and positively with family members can help ensure a smooth transition and promote a sense of belonging for the adopted child.

Seek Counseling and Mental Health Support

The adoption journey can evoke a wide range of emotions for adoptive parents, including excitement, anxiety, and uncertainty. Seeking counseling or therapy can provide a safe space to process these emotions, explore concerns, and develop coping strategies. Mental health support can also be beneficial for navigating the challenges of bonding and attachment with the adopted child.

Educate Yourself on Your Child’s Cultural Heritage

If adopting a child of a different cultural or racial background, adoptive parents should proactively educate themselves about their child’s cultural heritage. Learning about traditions, customs, and experiences related to their child’s cultural identity can help foster a sense of belonging and pride, as well as equip adoptive parents with the tools to support their child’s cultural identity development.

An excellent resource is Isaac Etter’s A Practical Guide: Transracial Adoption, which explores ideal conversations to have with your child at every stage of their development. 

Taking these proactive steps to prepare themselves emotionally, mentally, and practically helps adoptive parents approach the adoption journey with greater confidence, resilience, and readiness to welcome a child into their family with love and support.

Understanding Birth Parents

Before exploring resources that shed light on the experiences of birth parents, it’s essential to acknowledge the importance of understanding their perspectives in the adoption process. Birth parents grapple with complex emotions and decisions as they navigate the journey of placing a child for adoption. 

Adoptive parents will foster empathy, respect, and understanding within their families, laying the foundation for healthy and meaningful relationships with birth parents and their children.

The Third Choice: A Woman’s Guide to Placing a Child for Adoption by Gail Marie Mosconi and Leslie Foge

This book serves as a beacon of support for birth parents grappling with one of life’s most challenging decisions: placing a child for adoption. Through poignant narratives, practical advice, and expert guidance, Mosconi and Foge illuminate the complexities of the adoption process with compassion and empathy. From exploring emotions to understanding legal and logistical considerations, this comprehensive guide empowers birth parents to make informed choices while navigating the emotional terrain of adoption.

Because I Loved You: A Birthmother’s View of Open Adoption by Patricia A. Dischler

In this deeply personal memoir, Dischler offers a candid and heartfelt exploration of open adoption from the birth mother’s perspective. Through her own experiences and those of others, she delves into the intricacies of love, loss, and connection in the context of open adoption. By sharing her journey with honesty and vulnerability, Dischler sheds light on the complexities of birth motherhood, challenging stereotypes and offering insight into the profound bond between birth parents and their children.

Empowering Adoptees

Before examining resources aimed at empowering adoptees, it’s vital to recognize the significance of validating their unique experiences and identities. Adoptees navigate a complex landscape of identity formation, belonging, and self-discovery throughout their lives. 

Caregivers play a crucial role in empowering adoptees to embrace their identities with confidence and pride, fostering resilience and well-being.

Susan and Gordon Adopt a Baby by Judy Freudberg

This children’s book offers a gentle and age-appropriate introduction to adoption, celebrating the love and joy that come with welcoming a new family member. Through charming illustrations and a heartwarming narrative, Freudberg affirms the beauty and diversity of adoptive families, fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance for young readers.

The Day We Met You by Phoebe Koehler

Koehler’s touching story follows a young couple as they eagerly anticipate the arrival of their adopted child. Through lyrical prose and tender illustrations, she captures the excitement, uncertainty, and overwhelming love that accompany the adoption process. By highlighting the unique journey of adoption, Koehler’s book celebrates the power of love and connection to create families bound by shared experiences and unconditional devotion.

You Should Be Grateful by Angela Tucker

In this thought-provoking memoir, Tucker offers a candid and unflinching exploration of adoptee identity and the complexities of transracial adoption. Through her own experiences and those of others, she challenges common stereotypes and misconceptions, inviting readers to confront the complexities of race, identity, and belonging. Tucker empowers adoptees by sharing her journey with honesty and vulnerability to embrace their unique stories and reclaim their voices with pride and authenticity.

Journey Of The Adopted Self: A Quest For Wholeness by Betty Jean Lifton

Lifton’s groundbreaking book explores the psychological and emotional dimensions of adoptee identity formation, offering a roadmap for understanding and acceptance. Drawing on interviews with adoptees of all ages, Lifton delves into the complexities of adoption, from loss and longing to resilience and self-discovery. By validating adoptees’ experiences and providing a framework for exploration, Lifton’s book empowers individuals to embrace their identity with compassion, curiosity, and authenticity.

Texas Adoption Center: The Ultimate Resource

Books play a vital role in supporting adults involved in the adoption process, offering empathy, guidance, and validation. Whether you’re a birth parent, adoptive parent, or adoptee, these recommended reads provide valuable perspectives and resources to navigate the complexities of adoption with compassion and understanding.

At Texas Adoption Center, we are here to support every individual involved in the adoption journey. Our caring professionals can provide access to needed resources and information, guiding you in the challenging but beautiful adoption process. Reach out today to learn more. 

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