Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Adoption Book Reviews

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately to get ready for Russia and our child! I thought I would share a few of the books that I have read in case anyone is interested in educating themselves about international adoption. :)



“Adopting a Toddler: What Size Show Does She Wear?” by Denise Harris Hoppenhauer

This is a great book for anyone that is adopting a toddler, specifically internationally. She goes through very specific suggestions for what to bring when you travel, questions to ask orphanage workers, how to figure out what size shoe your child wears, how to handle bed time, meal time, etc. Some of it is very basic parenting advice that is a review for anyone who has any experience working with children, but the adoption specific information was great! I made myself a ton of lists/notes from the book!



“Risk and Promise: a Handbook for Parents Adopting a Child From Overseas” by Chasnoff, Schwartz, Pratt and Neuberger

Another great book! This one starts off a little technical but gets more applicable as you go. A lot of the book prepares you for the background and history of your child and how to interpret/understand it. The book covers everything from pregnancy and the factors (drugs, alcohol, maternal age, gestational age, etc) that may effect the health and growth of the newborn. It discusses possible infections (HIV, Hepatitis A,B,C, etc), growth patterns, child development, etc. And then the best part are all of the charts in the back of the book. It includes growth charts, parent observation forms to take to the orphanage/foster home with you, questions for orphanage staff, developmental checklist, attachment observations, etc. Very helpful!! I have many of them printed off to take with us to Russia.



“In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You to Know About Adoption…A Guide for Relatives and Friends” by Elisabeth O’Toole

Very basic overview of the adoption process, paperwork, child’s privacy, talking about adoption, how to answer difficult questions, etc. It is a very easy read and I think a really good book for anyone that is touched by adoption, including grandparents, friends, etc.



“Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child: From Your First Hours Together Through the Teen Years” by Patty Cogen

I am not sure how I feel about this book. She has some great suggestions and thoughts…for one, I like how she refers to the child’s family age. If the child is chronologically a 5 year old but has only been in your home for one month you cannot expect him to act like a 5 year old! Instead, nurture him like you would a child that is much longer. She also talks some about the brain and the impact that neglect/abuse/trauma can have on brain development, attachment and growth. That part was good. Some of her ideas though I think are sort of out there and a little wonky. It’s a really long book and I got bored halfway through and have still not finished.


Okay, that’s all for now. I hope that helped someone. :) What good adoption books have you read?


  1. Toddler Adoption: The Weaver's Craft is one I would recommend, though hard to read in one sitting and a bit heavy at times. I also like Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Building Connections as one to have in your parenting library. It covers a large number of topics and issues that may come up throughout childhood. The Connected Child is another good one, though it is may be better suited for once your child is home. I read it beforehand and felt I would have gotten a lot more our of it if I could applied the knowledge more immediately.

  2. "In on It" is fabulous! We bought several copies and have been loaning them out to friends and family!!!

  3. I don't know if my last post made it or not, but I'm trying again. Feel free to delete if this is a duplicate.

    I really enjoy Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child. It is great as a reference through the year and ages and stages.

    We adopted our daughter at age 6 but she was the size of a 3 year old. Development socially and emotionally can also be delayed when adopting a child from an orphanage in another country.

    Author of Nine Year Pregnancy

  4. Thank you so much for these suggestions! We are wanting to adopt from foster care and it's possible we'll end up with a toddler.

  5. Here are some books I've read since I posted a year ago:
    Keys to Parenting an Adopted Child
    Detached: Surviving Reactive Attachment Disorder (
    Both great books helpful in different ways. The first one is one I definitely wished I had read prior to bringing our daughter home. The second would have been helpful during her first months with us.