Deciding to become an adoptive parent is obviously one of the biggest decisions a person can make. With something so monumental, you naturally will want and need a lot of guidance. Fortunately, there are loads of helpful books on the subject. To help round up some of the best, I reached out to several voices in the adoption community and asked for their personal must-reads for potential adoptive parents.
Along with books, there are lots of other resources out there. There are podcasts
like where a New York City couple documents their We Can Do This personal experience of adoption every step of the way. There's also a show dedicated to helping guide parents through The Honestly Adoption Podcast, different aspects of the adoption journey.
There are also many great blogs,
like Adoptive Black Mom, which chronicles a single Black woman's experience of adopting a tween at the age of 40. And there's Rage Against the Minivan, which follows a white woman's journey of parenting two biological children and two adopted children. (She has a parenting book as well.)
And of course, there are online support groups. Facebook has loads, and the
North American Council on Adoptable Children actually has a database where people can search for pre-adoption groups in their area.
It's great to be living in a time when there is so much support and information available for people considering adoption. Though yes, it's
a lot. It might feel a bit overwhelming at first, trying to find sources that align with your own belief system and feelings on adoption. Here's hoping some of the below books can help any potential moms and dads take some first steps on the journey ahead. We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. The Covering All-The-Bases Guide
Our first book is the pick of Steffany Aye — an adoptive mother, as well as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and the founder and director of the Kansas City Adoption Team with Adoption and Beyond. A sort of handbook for adoptive parents, this book attempts to cover all of the bases. It discusses adopting children from different backgrounds and cultures and adopting children with special needs, as well as the challenges of adopting troubled teens.
First Person Perspectives
Another rec from Steffany Aye, this is a collection of adoption anecdotes and advice from a wide range of people. It features adoptive parents and adult adoptees, the friends and family of adoptive parents, as well as input from adoption professionals.
Adopting A Toddler
This one comes recommended by Jill Robbins, creator of the adoption blog
Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. Robbins and her husband adopted two children from China when they were 2 and 3 years old, so clearly know quote a bit about adopting toddlers. Some personal advice from Robbins: "Read the books recommended by your social worker, but don't stop there. Ask other adoptive parents what they recommend and read, read, read. There are also a lot of memoirs out there that can add perspective, but everyone's adoption story is a little different." International Adoption
Jill Robbins also gives this book high marks. This book walks through the initial questions potential parents may have about whether adoption is the right choice for them. It then delves deeper, laying out the differences between adopting internationally and domestically, and offers tips on how to go about choosing a country. It also offers worksheets, and suggestions for how to begin the process.
This suggestion comes to us via Kristen Howerton, she of the
Rage Against the Minivan blog and book. "One of my favorite books on adoption is In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories. It's a collection of essays by adoptees sharing their personal experiences of adoption. I found it both helpful and fascinating to hear the varied and unfiltered experiences of adoptees. It taught me a lot about issues my own kids might face." An Adoptee’s Perspective
Lastly, another one from Kristen Howerton: "I also loved Jillian Lauren's memoir
Everything You Ever Wanted. Jillian is an adoptee herself, and in this memoir details the process of adopting her first child from Ethiopia. She's such an amazing writer, and I resonated with her poignant exploration of what it means to be a family."