Buying guide – 8 essential books for starting the adoption process

June 12, 2013 4 Comments
adoption process books

Image Credit: Rodrigo Galindez – Flickr

Whatever stage you’re at in the adoption process, there are some resources that you really ought to have at your fingertips. I will be doing many individual book reviews in posts to come, but for now this buying guide highlights my absolute favourites – books I would highly recommend if you are starting the adoption process in the UK.

What to Expect When You’re Adopting…: A practical guide to the decisions and emotions involved in adoption
This is a brilliant book for when you are starting the adoption process. It is written by an adoptee, and goes through many of the emotional elements of adopting. If you want to start understanding the emotional involvement, this is a great book for you. – £8.27

An Adoption Diary
This is one of my favourite adoption books, and one I have read several times. It is an account of a couple starting the adoption process, and is a practical guide of some of the phases of the process that are undertaken. Admittedly, the process has shifted slightly since this was written, but again, the author’s take on the emotion make it worth buying. – £7.16

Related by Adoption: A Handbook for Grandparents and Other Relatives (Baaf)
This book is designed for the family of those going through adoption, so that Uncles, Aunties, and Grandparents know what is coming. Both my parents read the book, and it gave them a good grounding for preparing to meet our adopted son. An alternative to this is ‘Before I Arrive’ which is downloadable on my website as a PDF for 99p, and all money goes to Adoption UK. – £5.99

The Primal Wound: Understanding the adopted child
I will admit that I skipped in and out of this book, and some bits I found more relevant than others. However, my wife read it cover to cover, and fully immersed herself in the theory it discusses. It is essentially a book that looks at loss, and specifically what it means for a child to be without its mother. – £9.77

Twenty Things Adoptive Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
The focal point of this book is to try and get the reader to see the world from the adopted child’s view. It can be a little heavy at times, but it is unique in that it addresses many adoption related issues from a different angle. This book is so popular in our house, my wife and I have one each. – £6.89


Trauma and attachment

These two subjects are now commonplace throughout my blog. I personally feel that to learn about these subjects within the arena of adoption, should form an essential part of the adoption process. To that end, I have included my three favourite books on the subjects.

Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby’s Brain
I do love this book. During our TAPPS course I was told about this, and we promptly bought it. For me, it is a great tool to arm yourself with when attachment issues occur. It is also superb at educating the laymen amongst us about the two important facets of adoption. – £11.19

Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children
This book is penned by Dan Hughes who, it is probably fair to say, is worshipped in social services circles – certainly within in our local authority. Having read this book, it is easy to see why. He is an authority figure on the subjects of trauma and attachment, and this, of all his books, is my favourite. – £26.35

What Every Parent Needs to Know: The incredible effects of love, nurture and play on your child’s development
I love the sentiment of this book. The course we attended on trauma and attachment is certainly applicable to adoptive parents, but by no means exclusive. This sort of text should be standard for every parent. This is a practical guide on raising your child and not far from my side during the day. – £9.59


Special Mention

I couldn’t do this post without mentioning Sally Donovan’s No Matter What
available on Amazon. She is a fellow blogger, and a great source of adoptive advice. The book is released on 28 July 2013 but you can Pre-order it now.

Most of the books mentioned in this post feature on my recommended books page, which is always expanding. I am happy to review any related book, so if you have one you want to be included, please get in touch.

Related posts:

About the Author:

Andrew is an adoptive father, and stay at home dad. Having adopted his son in January 2013, he is a new adoptive parent, but well versed in the adoption process. He is a married, coffee drinker, Xbox addict, and a Marketing graduate. Andrew McDougall is an alias he uses to protect the identity of his adopted son.

Comments (4)

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  1. Great essential reading list… There are several which we’ve got and a few which are going straight on my amazon wishlist. Another book I’d recommend trying out is New Families, Old Scripts: A Guide to the Language of Trauma and Attachment in Adoptive Families by Alan Burnell, Caroline Archer and Christine Gordon.

    Really liked the format which is an A-Z of issues related to adoption and, in particular, attachment disorders. Each section then contains a little explanation of the issue and therapeutic approaches followed by a letter to a (fictitious) adoptive parent going through such problems with their child. Great stuff and, I suspect a great resource to have on the shelf for reference on problems as they arise…
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  2. M B says:

    I really think you should read the primal wound by nancy verrier it is essential to understanding adoptees and issues they will have through their lives!

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