Adoptive families face many unique situations that require creative thinking and resources. Check out these websites and books created specifically for families who have adopted!
North American Council on Adoptable Children – “Founded in 1974 by adoptive parents, the North American Council on Adoptable Children is committed to meeting the needs of waiting children and the families who adopt them. Through advocacy, education, adoption support, and leadership development in the U.S. and Canada, NACAC helps to reform systems, alter viewpoints, and change lives.”
Spaulding – “This multi-faceted organization provides help to children who wait the longest for permanency and support services for their adoptive, foster and kinship families. Nationwide, Spaulding’s Resource Center provides training, consultation and informational materials for professionals, organizations and parents.”
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption – “The site will provide you with access to the latest noteworthy adoption news, adoption-specific chat room discussions and the ability to request information on any adoption topic.”
National Adoption Center – “Research adoption information in our resource library. Order adoption books through our adoption bookstore or subscribe to our free e-zine. Post a message or chat with other adoptive families. You will also want to introduce your children to the Adoption Clubhouse, a unique website where children can learn about adoption and express their thoughts about adoption.”
Adopting.org – “Information and education for adoptive parents meeting everyday and unusual challenges. Find resources to help you team up with doctors, teachers and therapists. Hear what others have to say about the search for birth family and other sensitive issues.”
AdoptiveFamilies.com– “Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during and after adoption.”
The following books are recommended by and available through the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Adoption.
Benjamin Bear Gets A New Family, Deborah Berry Joy, M.A. – This children’s book deals in storybook form with the feelings many children experience resulting from their birth parents’ inability to provide care for them, as well as feelings related to their subsequent adoption. Opportunities and guidelines are provided for discussion.
The Long Journey Home, Richard Delaney – A children’s book that facilitates the discussion of grief and loss along with the desire to search for biological links. The illustrations really bring the characters to life.
Adoption is for Always, Linda Walvoord Girard – Celia was adopted four days after her birth. Although her parents talked about it freely, Celia never really showed much interest in the topic of her adoption until one day she realized what it meant to be adopted and what it meant to her. Celia is frustrated and upset but gradually begins to understand her story and that her adoptive parents are her parents forever. This book helps children uncover and explore their questions and concerns about adoption in a safe and loving way.
A Koala for Katie, Jonathan London – This book explores adoption in a “child’s own” language and helps reassure the child that he/she is loved. Katie thinks a lot about babies, being adopted, and her first mommy. The book offers parents the opportunity to explore and reinforce their love for their child.
We’re Different, We’re the Same, Bobbi Jane Kates and Featuring Jim Henson’s Sesame Street Muppets – The colorful characters from “Sesame Street” teach young children about racial differences and harmony. Muppets, monsters, and humans compare noses, hair, and skin and realize how different we all are. But as they look further, they also discover how much we are alike. This book can assist parents who have adopted transracially explore the richness of differences with their children.
We See the Moon, Carrie A. Kitze – This book begins the life-long dialogue between parents and children about adoption. Parents should begin this by reviewing the book and preparing to help their child engage in open and honest dialogue about their adoption. The images and text are from China, but the ideas that are explored and sentiments expressed are universal.
At Home in This World, Jean MacLeod – In this book, a pre-adolescent girl tells her story about what she remembers and understands of her young life before and after adoption. The two different worlds of an adopted child are brought together in a clear and heartfelt story. It gives a child’s point of view about how she feels now and how she thought she would have felt. The book addresses the underlying feelings and emotions that surround adoption.
I Don’t Have Your Eyes, Carrie Kitze – This book is for the child who may look or feel different for whatever reason – being in foster care, having stepparents, and/or being adopted. This book approaches multiculturalism and diversity in a way that encourages children to celebrate our differences. The book explores and celebrates the differences within families, as well as the similarities that connect them to one another.
Robert Lives with his Grandparents, Martha Whitmore Hickman – This book deals with the struggles that youth face when they go to live with their grandparents because their mother and father are unable to care for them. Robert loves his grandparents but is embarrassed that he lives with them. He goes on to discover that some of his other classmates in his grade school class don’t live with their parents either which makes him feel better.
Henry the Hermit Crab: A Storybook-Work for Children with Attachment Issues, Deborah Berry Joy – This children’s book deals with the issues of attachment. The story is about a little hermit crab name Henry who does not have parents; he gets a new family only to be left again and again. He is very sad and mad about being left all alone and is afraid his new family will do the same so he gets a big hard shell to hide in. But the new family is the right family. You’ll have to read the rest to see how it ends. This book also allows the child to write his/her own story and has questions to encourage the development of the story.
Did My First Mother Love Me? A Story for an Adopted Child, Kathryn Ann Miller.
I Wasn’t Done Loving You Yet. A Book for Grieving Teens, Sandi Dahm.
Our Home Is Your Home. A Journaling Tool For Foster Kids, Sandi Dahm.
Do You Know What Adoption Means? My Coloring Book, Carol Rippey.