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Recommended Books

Adoption Related Books
Behavior Related Books
Books for Adult Adoptees
Books for Birth Parents

doption Related Books

The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family

The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family--and addressing their special needs--requires care, consideration, and compassion.

Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience After Neglect and Trauma

From the author of Attaching in Adoption comes this new tool designed to help placement professionals and families understand how new research on the impact of neglect, abuse, early trauma, and institutionalization on the developing brains of children.

Healing Parents: Helping Wounded Children Learn to Trust & Love

Healing Parents gives parents/caregivers the information, tools, support, self-awareness, and hope they need to help a wounded child heal emotional wounds and improve behaviorally, socially, and morally. This book is a toolbox filled with practical strategies and research that helps parents/caregivers understand their child, learn to respond in a constructive way, and create a healthy environment. Parents/caregivers will learn to develop their child's positive beliefs and establish trust.

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

While books about adoption proliferate, none of them addresses the subject of open and interracial adoption like Jana Wolff's personal and frank account does in Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother. Often irreverent, always insightful, surprisingly funny and stunningly honest, Secret Thoughts tells it like it is: How it feels for a woman to look nothing like her child and to know the woman who does. 

Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent's Guide

When to tell, What to tell, and How to tell. Children who are adopted have predictable and often unspoken concerns about themselves and how they joined their families. In this wise and timely guide, Lois Melina, author of the classic manual Raising Adopted Children, helps parents anticipate and respond to those concerns in ways that build self-esteem. Through sample conversations, reassuring advice, and age-specific activities parents will find answers to many questions of the "hows" and "whens" of adoption.

Before You Were Mine: Discovering Your Adopted Child's Lifestory

Written by an adoptive mother and an adoptee daughter, Before You Were Mine offers a unique Christian perspective on creating a Lifebook that commemorates your child’s birth story. Complete with worksheets and advice from adoptive families, you’ll find that remembering and celebrating your child’s history can be fun, rewarding, and even redemptive. You’ll discover how to uncover and organize details of their birth story, make the story both truthful and positive, and use the Lifebook to trace God’s faithfulness. 

Three Little Words: A Memoir

by: Ashley Rhodes-Courter
An inspiring true story of the tumultuous nine years Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent in the foster care system, and how she triumphed over painful memories and real-life horrors to ultimately find her own voice. "Sunshine, you're my baby and I'm your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she's not your mama." Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system.

Adoption Wisdom: A Guide to the Issues and Feelings of Adoption

by  Marlou Russell PhD
ADOPTION WISDOM offers insight and understanding of adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Includes chapters on Adoption Awareness, Basic Truths of Adoption, Search and Reunion, and an Ideal Adoption. ADOPTION WISDOM is a book for anyone who wants to kinow more about the lifelong impact of adoption.

The Incredible Hulk Pees the Bed: A Child's View of Childhood PTSD

by Barbara Cummins Tantrum LMHC 

Sam looks like a normal kid, but secretly he in the Incredible Hulk. This book describes, from Sam’s point of view, the experience of being a foster child with a traumatic background (and a diagnosis of PTSD) joining a permanent family. Sam describes his rages, vulnerabilities, power struggles, and simple strategies by his new parents to help him feel safe. Sam has the automatic “fight” response (think fight/flight/freeze) when he feels threatened, even though his new family is safe. This book normalizes therapy, common fears and behaviors, the experience of a traumatic past, trying to be comfortable in a new family, and using tools to help regulate emotions. This book is useful for family use as well as use in a therapeutic setting.

Books for Adult Adoptees

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child

"The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child", by Nancy Verrier, is a challenging and courageous work. A book which adoptees call their "bible," it is a must read for anyone connected with adoption: adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents, therapists, educators, and attorneys. In its application of information about perinatal psychology, attachment, bonding, and loss, "The Primal Wound" clarifies the effects of separation from the birthmother on adopted children. In addition, it gives adoptees, whose pain has long been unacknowledged or misunderstood, validation for their feelings, as well as explanations for their behavior. As one adoptee said, "Only one thing has caused me more pain and damage than the existence of the primal wound: the world's insistence that it does not exist." The existence of the primal wound and suggestions for healing that wound are intelligently and compassionately set forth in this book, which is fast becoming the quintessential work about the complex and life-long process of adoption. 

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self 

Ingeniously integrating psychological and educational theories, the authors construct a model of the normal yet unique stages of adoptee development. This  groundbreaking book uses the poignant, powerful voices of  adoptees and adoptive parents to explore the  experience of adoption and its lifelong effects. A major  work, filled with astute analysis and moving  truths.

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

"Birthdays may be difficult for me."
"I want you to take the initiative in opening conversations about my birth family."
"I am afraid you will abandon me."
The voices of adopted children are poignant, questioning. And they tell a familiar story of loss, fear, and hope. This extraordinary book, written by a woman who was adopted herself, gives voice to children's unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.
With warmth and candor, Sherrie Eldridge reveals the twenty complex emotional issues you must understand to nurture the child you love.

Questions Adoptees Are Asking: ...about beginnings...about birth family...about searching...about finding peace

People who have been adopted grow up with many similar questions, thoughts, challenges, and choices, such as, "Does my birth mother ever think about me?" and "What is my real worth? Was I a mistake?" More than 70 adoptees discuss these and other adoption issues and try to arrive at answers. Sherrie Eldridge interviews more than seventy adoptees to bring your questions to light, find the answers, and create connection among adult adoptees. Discover freedom in the unity and in your unique life purpose as you realize your value in life.

Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents, and Adoptive Parents

What happens when an adoptee decides to locate a birthparent or a birthparent wants to find a child given up long ago? How does one search for people whose names one does not know? And what happens during a reunion? In 1983, Jean A. S. Strauss was faced with these questions when she began her search for her birth-mother, and in this inspiring new handbook, she shares her experience. Strauss will help you map out a step-by-step journey that will empower and support you throughout this significant time. Brimming with important reference sources and dozens of true-life stories, this valuable resource will guide you.

Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience

The first edition of Betty Jean Lifton's Lost and Found advanced the adoption rights movement in this country in 1979, challenging many states' policies of maintaining closed birth records. For nearly three decades the book has topped recommended reading lists for those who seek to understand the effects of adoption---including adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, and their friends and families. This expanded and updated edition, with new material on the controversies concerning adoption, artificial insemination, and newer reproductive technologies, continues to add to the discussion on this important topic. A new preface and afterword by the author have been added, as well as a greatly expanded resources section that in addition to relevant organizations now lists useful Web sites.

Journey Of The Adopted Self: A Quest For Wholeness

by Betty Jean Lifton
     Buy it on
Betty Jean Lifton, whose Lost and Found has become a bible to adoptees and to those who would understand the adoption experience, explores further the inner world of the adopted person. She breaks new ground as she traces the adopted child’s lifelong struggle to form an authentic sense of self. And she shows how both the symbolic and the literal search for roots becomes a crucial part of the journey toward wholeness.

Adoption Wisdom: A Guide to the Issues and Feelings of Adoption

by  Marlou Russell PhD
ADOPTION WISDOM offers insight and understanding of adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Includes chapters on Adoption Awareness, Basic Truths of Adoption, Search and Reunion, and an Ideal Adoption. ADOPTION WISDOM is a book for anyone who wants to kinow more about the lifelong impact of adoption.

Coming Home to Self: The Adopted Child Grows Up

by Nancy Newton Verrier  

Coming Home to Self is a book about becoming aware. It is written for all members of the adoption triad: adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents as well as those who are in relationship with them, including professionals. It explains the influence imprinted upon the nuerological system and, thus, on future functioning. It explains how false beliefs create fear and perpetuate being ruled by the wounded child. It is a book which will help adoptees discover their authentic selves after living without seeing themselves reflected back all their lives.

Behavior Related Books

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind

In this pioneering, practical book, Daniel J. Siegel, neuropsychiatrist and author of the bestselling Mindsight, and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson demystify the meltdowns and aggravation, explaining the new science of how a child’s brain is wired and how it matures. The “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids can seem—and feel—so out of control. By applying these discoveries to everyday parenting, you can turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child’s brain and foster vital growth. Raise calmer, happier children using twelve key strategies.

Too Loud, Too Bright, Too Fast, Too Tight: What to Do If You Are Sensory Defensive in an Overstimulating World

We all know what it feels like to be irritated by loud music, accosted by lights that are too bright, or overwhelmed by a world that moves too quickly. But millions of people suffer from Sensory Defensive Disorder (SD), a common affliction in which people react to harmless stimuli not just as a distracting hindrance, but a potentially dangerous threat.

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children

Screaming, swearing, crying, hitting, kicking, spitting, biting...these are some of the challenging behaviors we see in kids who are having difficulty meeting our expectations. These behaviors often leave parents feeling frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, and desperate for answers. In this book, Dr. Ross Greene helps you understand why and when your child does these things and how to respond in ways that are nonpunitive and effective.

Parenting With Love And Logic

This parenting book shows you how to raise self-confident, motivated children who are ready for the real world. Learn how to parent effectively while teaching your children responsibility and growing their character. Establish healthy control through easy-to-implement steps without anger, threats, nagging, or power struggles.

Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting From Birth to Six Years

Take the exhaustion out and put the fun into parenting your little one. This book is the tool parents of little ones have been waiting for. The tools in Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood will give you the building blocks you need to create children who grow up to be responsible, successful teens and adults. And as a bonus you will enjoy every stage of your child's life and look forward to sharing a lifetime of joy with them

Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five

What’s the single most important thing you can do during pregnancy? What does watching TV do to a child’s brain? What’s the best way to handle temper tantrums? Scientists know. In his New York Times bestseller Brain Rules, Dr. John Medina showed us how our brains really work—and why we ought to redesign our workplaces and schools. Now, in Brain Rules for Baby, he shares what the latest science says about how to raise smart and happy children from zero to five. 

Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control: A Love-Based Approach to Helping Attachment-Challenged Children With Severe Behaviors

Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control covers in detail the effects of trauma on the body-mind and how trauma alters children's behavioral responses. The first four chapters help parents and professionals clearly understand the neurological research behind the basic model given in this book, deemed, 'The Stress Model.' While scientifically based in research, it is written in an easy to understand and easy to grasp format for anyone working with or parenting children with severe behaviors. The next seven chapters are individually devoted to seven behaviors typically seen with attachment-challenged children. 

Free: How to End Lying Book

Why Kids Lie and How To End It Now!

Books for Birth Parents

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade

By: Ann Fessler
     In this deeply moving and myth-shattering work, Ann Fessler brings out into the open for the first time the astonishing untold history of the million and a half women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade. An adoptee who was herself surrendered during those years and recently made contact with her mother, Ann Fessler brilliantly brings to life the voices of more than a hundred women, as well as the spirit of those times, allowing the women to tell their stories in gripping and intimate detail.

Saying Goodbye to a Baby: The Birthparent's Guide to Loss & Grief in Adoption (Saying Goodbye to a Baby Vol. 1) 

by Patricia Roles 
     Society does not always recognize the right and the need of birthparents to grieve. Until recently, they were told that they would forget their child, get on with their lives, and have other children later on.

I Choose This Day: Mournings and Miracles of Adoption 

by: Sharon Fieker 
     She includes the challenges and blessings surrounding her pregnancy. The heartache of 'not knowing' what happened to her baby and the beautiful story that unfolds as she meets her birth daughter are inspirational. When going through difficult times, Sharon sometimes wondered how God could allow such troubling things to happen. Her story demonstrates how He had a plan for her-one filled with hope. He also allowed her free will to make her own choices. If you're facing or have faced an unplanned pregnancy, you will benefit from reading I Choose this Day: Mournings and Miracles of Adoption.

Birthmothers: Women Who Have Relinquished Babies for Adoption Tell Their Stories 

by: Merry Jones
     Birthmothers presents intimate and stirring accounts of more than seventy women who surrendered babies for adoption. It follows their lives long-term, from discovery of their pregnancies through the present, and identifies the Birthmother Syndrome a pattern of behavior and emotions resulting from surrender. With heartwarming candor, it reveals the stories of the invisible side of the adoption triangle, and touches everyone involved in adoption, as well as anyone interested in motherhood, family and women in our society.

Adoption Wisdom: A Guide to the Issues and Feelings of Adoption

by  Marlou Russell PhD
     ADOPTION WISDOM offers insight and understanding of adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Includes chapters on Adoption Awareness, Basic Truths of Adoption, Search and Reunion, and an Ideal Adoption. ADOPTION WISDOM is a book for anyone who wants to kinow more about the lifelong impact of adoption.