Suggested Reading List
Eldridge, Sherrie. TWENTY THINGS ADOPTED KIDS WISH THEIR ADOPTIVE PARENTS KNEW. 1999. Bantam Dell, USA
Helpful in increasing parent’s understanding of what their adoptive children may feel about being adopted. Also a great book for adoptees to increase self-understanding. Written by an adult adoptee, the book offers useful information.
Fessler, Ann. THE GIRLS WHO WENT AWAY. THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF WOMEN WHO SURRENDERED CHILDREN FOR ADOPTION IN THE DECADES BEFORE ROE v. WADE. 2006. Penguin Press, New York 10014.
This is an excellent book that sheds light on the how society and its norms and moral dilemmas of the time shaped the world of secrecy for birthmothers and in adoption practice. Ann Fessler, an adult adoptee, talked to more than 100 of the estimated 1.5 million women who relinquished children for adoption during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. She brings to light how the myths and societal pressures to relinquish their unborn children shaped and changed their lives. A must read.
Heffron, Anne. YOU DON’T LOOK ADOPTED: A MEMOIR. 2017. Running Water Press.
An insightful self-exploration of life as an adopted person. The author gives readers a deep, personal journey about how she believes having been relinquished and adopted has affected her life.
Hughes, Ann. SOUL CONNECTION. MEMOIR OF A BIRTHMOTHER’S HEALING JOURNEY. 1991. Clova Press. Baltimore, MD 21202.
An inspiring memoir that captures the author’s spiritual beliefs and how these beliefs helped her heal and find her daughter. Beautifully written and very moving story.
Keefler, Betsy & Schooler, Jayne. TELLING THE TRUTH TO YOUR ADOPTIVE OR FOSTER CHILD: MAKING SENSE OF THE PAST. 2000. Bergin & Garvey, Westport, Connecticut 06881. London.
An excellent book for parents who have difficult life histories to tell their adopted children. It also explains to all adoptive parents how and when to give their adopted children birth information.
Kirschner, David. ADOPTION: UNCHARTED WATERS. A PSYCHOLOGIST’S CASE STUDIES…CLINICAL AND FORENSIC ISSUES. 2006. JUNEAU PRESS, WOODBURY, NY 11797.
Written by a psychologist who has been in private practice treating adopted children. He is the leading expert in the Adopted Child Syndrome, a theory that has been used as a defense for adopted children who have committed murder.
Pavao, Joyce M. THE FAMILY OF ADOPTION. 1998. Beacon Press, Boston, MA.
The author, an adopted person and therapist describes the developmental stages and challenges for adopted people. Facilitates parent’s ability to normalize the developmental milestones that all families and adopted children pass through. Factual case studies illustrate the stages.
Riley, Debbie & Meeks, John. BENEATH THE MASK: UNDERSTANDING ADOPTED TEENS, CASE STUDIES AND TREATMENT CONSIDERATION FOR THERAPIST & PARENTS. 2005.
Working with adopted adolescents is complex. The key to successful therapy and healthy development is to help the adolescent discover and accept the person within.
Robinson, Evelyn. ADOPTION AND LOSS. THE HIDDEN GRIEF. 2000. Clova Publications, Baltimore, MD.
A moving story of a woman’s unplanned teenage pregnancy and how the impact of relinquishing her child in the closed adoption system profoundly affected her life. The author writes about how she began to heal and how it transformed her life as she became a social worker and advocate for adoption reform. She helps us understand why ungrieved losses are so life altering for the birthmother.
Schaeffer, Carole. THE OTHER MOTHER. A WOMAN’S LOVE FOR THE CHILD SHE GAVE UP FOR ADOPTION. 1991. Soho Press. New York, NY.10014.
A powerfully and beautifully written story of a birthmother’s search and reunion with the son that she relinquished for adoption in the closed adoption system.
Seek, Amy. God and Jetfire, Confessions of a Birth Mother. 2015. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. New York.
Facing an unplanned pregnancy at twenty-two, this book chronicles a birth mother’s account of her decision to surrender her son in an open adoption and of their relationship over the twelve years that follow.
Silverstein, D.N. & Kaplan, S. LIFELONG ISSUES IN ADOPTION. 1988.
An informative look at what the authors describe as seven issues that all members of the adoption triad must address.
Strauss, Jean. BIRTHRIGHT. THE GUIDE TO SEARCH ANN REUNION FOR ADOPTEES, BIRTHPARENTS AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS. 1994. Penguin Books USA Inc. New York, NY 10014.
Written by an adult adoptee as a personal story of search and reunion. This book is particularly useful for those who are searching as the author shares valuable search techniques.
Verny, Thomas MD & Kelley, John. THE SECRET LIFE OF THE UNBORN CHILD. 1981. Dell Publishing. 666 Fifth Ave. New York, NY. 10103.
An incredibly compelling look at what the unborn child knows and experiences while in utero.
Verrier, Nancy. THE PRIMAL WOUND: UNDERSTANDING THE ADOPTED CHILD. 1991. Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD 21202.
This groundbreaking book continues to shed enormous light on the effects of adoption on children. Written by an adoptive mother who gained insight into the innermost feelings of her adoptive daughter as she raised one child by birth and one by adoption. A must read.
Verrier, Nancy. COMING HOME TO SELF; THE ADOPTED CHILD GROWS UP. 2003. Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD 21202.
In this book the author focus is on helping adoptees find their authentic Self, a self which has been distorted by living without genetic markers and mirroring as they grew up in non-biological families. The other is to help them go beyond the victimhood of their beginning of life and come into their own power and sense of responsibility.