Books for Adults about Adoption

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Books about Trans-racial adoption

July 2003

Can any one tell me if ''Inside Transracial Adoption'' by Steinberg and Hall or ''Toddler Adoption:The Weaver's Craft'' by Mary Hopkins Best are worthwhile reads?? I can't find anything about this in the archives. Also, any other reading material suggestions for parents adopting a Guatemalan toddler are most welcome! Thank you!! Christine

As far as I am concerned ''Inside Transracial Adoption'' is a must- read. I don't know if you knew it but the 2 authors have an adoption facilitation agency in Richmond called Pact, an adoption alliance. They specialized in adoption of children of color. I suggest that you become a member to Pact, as we have been for 4 years now. They will give you a selection of books to read. They have a booksource in which they rate hundreds of books about adoption/parenting and more for adults and children of all ages. It has become my reference for buying books. They also offer amazing educational conferences and meetings. Anyway, check it out and make up your own mind about them. I think their website address is f.choquette

Though I have not read all of that book (I have read sections of it in Pact Press and other places) I can say that anything written by Beth Hall and Gail Steinberg is well worth reading. They are really pioneers in the area of transracial adoption, and are both clear-eyed about what is involved, and very supportive and positive about how to make it work. You might find some of what they say harsh (especially before the child comes home), but every transracial parent should at least consider what they have to say about racial and cultural identity. You should also consider joining Pact, and taking advantage of their workshops and especially their incredible collection of books for sale on topics of adoption, culture, cultural identity, race and other topics of interest to transracial (and transcultural) adoptive families. Pact is also a great way to network with other families like yours.

Good luck to you! The fun is just beginning!
another adoptive parent

I can wholeheartedly recommend Hall & Steinberg's book Inside Transracial Adoption. As an adult who was transracially adopted, I found it incredibly valuable, sensitive and necessary.

And I have to put a plug in for my own book, A Ghost At Heart's Edge, which is a literary anthology (fiction & poetry) about adoption. It's not a ''how-to'' book, but presents a many faceted, often beautiful, often wrenching insight into the world of adoption, from a myriad of perspectives. To read the table of contents and excerpts or to order, visit our website at (thanks, and my apologies for tooting our own horn) Susan

We're looking into international adoption and the following books are ''required'' reading by our adoption agency, North Bay Adoptions:

1. Are those Kids Yours? by Cheri Register
2. How it Feels to be Adopted by Jill Krementz
3. Real Parents, Real Children by Holly Van Gulden and Lisa Bartels-Rabb Also, to the extent applicable:

1. Adopting after Intertility by Patricia I. Johnston 2. Transracial Adoption - a collection of articles complied by PACT, an adoption alliance.

North Bay Adoptions also has a video available for purchase: Visible Differences - Transracial Parenting Through Adoption.

North Bay Adoptions has a website Even if you already have an agency you're happy with, the website has lots of helpful info.

Good luck! Maybe another adoptive mom to be

I've read both books and adopted a toddler whose race is different from mine. I'd recommend Steinberg and Hall's book, but not the other. Steinberg and Hall's book is interesting and useful, but I found the Best book disappointing. She described the challenges of adopting a toddler but I think she accentuated them, making it sound harder than it is for many people (even though mine was more challenging than some) and didn't provide information that would help people meet those challenges. Bottom line, I'd buy Steinberg and Hall and borrow the other.

Several of the articles in Inside Transracial Adoption were enlightening for me, the parent of two children adopted from Guatemala. Connecting with other families has been a wonderful experience as well. Yahoo has a group, where you can create some online community. For the past 3-4 years, there has been a picnic in the summer for families in the process of adopting from Guatemala or with children already home. I'm not organizing it this year because I'm in Guatemala with my family for the summer. If you email me, I can get you connected with families who live near you. Best wishes on your adoption journey.

I have ''Toddler Adoption the Weaver's Craft'' and would highly recommend it. Another similar book ''Attaching in Adoption'' by Deborah Gray is also very good. However, some of the case studies the authors' discuss could cause a lot of anxiety for a prospective adoptive parent (like we need any more worries, right?) Use these books as a resource, but don't let them scare you. Another book I highly recommend is ''The Baby Book'' by Dr. Sears. This is not an adoption book, but he emphasises attachment parenting techniques which are especially important for adoptive families. Best of luck to you!
Melissa (happy adoptive mom)