Books About Adoption

November is National Adoption Month.

November 4, 2021

National Adoption Month is a month to celebrate, reflect, and raise awareness about adoption.

To learn more about National Adoption Month, visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services page.

Every child deserves to grow up with a safe and loving family, with the care and support of their community. During National Adoption Month, we celebrate all of the children and families nurtured, enriched, and made whole by adoption and recommit ourselves to ensuring that every child in America can grow up in a loving and supportive home.

Memoirs and Personal Experiences

American baby

American Baby
A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption

Gabrielle Glaser

The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other.

Finding Chika

Finding Chika
A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

Mitch Albom

The best-selling author of Tuesdays With Morrie traces the inspirational story of a child from The Have Faith Haiti Orphanage, whose short life of poverty and incurable illness prompted her loving adoption into his family.

A forever family

A Forever Family
Fostering Change One Child at a Time

Rob Scheer

The founder of Comfort Cases, an organization that makes life better for thousands of foster children, shares his own experiences in foster care and how he was able to chart his own path and achieve his wildest dreams.

God and Jetfire

God and Jetfire
Confessions of a Birth Mother

Amy Seek

An account of the author’s experiences as a birth mother searching for adoptive parents to raise her son shares insights into new open adoption laws and her active, conflicted role in the child’s upbringing over a 12-year period.

Instant mom

Instant Mom

Nia Vardalos

The popular actress shares her story of adopting a preschooler, relating her parenting experiences while discussing innovative ways to conquer the challenges new moms face.

A long way home

A Long Way Home

Saroo Brierley

An account of the author’s inspirational effort to find his India birthplace describes how he was accidentally separated from his family in the mid-1980s, his survival on the streets of Calcutta, his adoption by an Australian family, and his headline-making Google Earth search.

Make me a mother

Make Me a Mother

Susanne Antonetta

Relates how the author and her husband adopted a six-month-old boy from South Korea and the lessons they had to learn as parents, including how to incorporate aspects of another culture and how to discuss birth parents with their son.


An Adoption Memoir

Jessica O’Dwyer

The author, who at 32 years old experienced early menopause, chronicles her tireless efforts to adopt a Guatemalan child, including uprooting her life and moving to Antigua in order to navigate the thorny adoption process and finally bring her daughter home.

The natural mother of the child

The Natural Mother of the Child
A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood

Krys Malcolm Belc

Krys Malcolm Belc has thought a lot about the interplay between parenthood and gender. As a nonbinary, transmasculine parent, giving birth to his son Samson clarified his gender identity. And yet, when his partner Anna adopted Samson, the legal documents listed Belc as “the natural mother of the child.”

One perfect day

One Perfect Day
A Mother and Son’s Story of Adoption and Reunion

Diane Burke

Presents the story of a mother who gave a child up for adoption who then contacted her forty years later and the son who wondered about and became determined to find his birth mother since discovering he was adopted.

Rescuing Julia twice

Rescuing Julia Twice
A Mother’s Tale of Russian Adoption and Overcoming Reactive Attachment Disorder

Tina Traster

The author relates her experience with reactive attachment disorder, something her internationally adopted daughter suffered from, and explains how her family managed to form a loving bond with their daughter.

Surviving the white gaze

Surviving the White Gaze

Rebecca Carroll

A woman describes growing up as the only black person in a rural New Hampshire town, the tense relationship she had with her birth mother, her loyalty towards her adoptive parents and her search for racial identity.

Two little girls

Two Little Girls
A Memoir of Adoption

Theresa Reid

An account of international adoption and family describes a couple’s experiences as they journey to the former Soviet Union and wade through a vast bureaucracy as they find their two new daughters, Natalie and Lana.


Guides and Insight

20 things adoptive parents need to succeed

20 Things Adoptive Parents Need to Succeed

Sherrie Eldridge

The author of Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew counsels caregivers on the unique parenting challenges of adoptive families, drawing on case studies to provide coverage of such topics as managing stress and establishing a support system.

Adopting older children

Adopting Older Children
A Practical Guide to Adopting and Parenting Children Over Age Four

Stephanie Bosco-Ruggiero, Gloria Russo Wassell, Victor Groza

Provides techniques and strategies for adoptive parents, discussing the adoption process, coping with the transition, and understanding the background, personality, and problems of an adopted child.

Baby, we were meant for each other

Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other
In Praise of Adoption

Scott Simon

The NPR Weekend Edition host explores the cultural impact of adoption while sharing the story of how his wife and he adopted two daughters, in an account that also relates the experiences of other prominent figures who were adopted or became adoptive parents.

The basics of adoption

The Basics of Adoption
A Guide for Building Families in the U.S. and Canada

James L. Dickerson, Mardi Allen

This volume is a practical, reader-friendly guide for prospective parents and others who are interested in the domestic and international adoption process in the United States and Canada.

Caring for your adopted child

Caring for Your Adopted Child
An Essential Guide for Parents

Elaine E. Schulte, Robin L. Michaelson

With knowledge and compassion, Caring for Your Adopted Child offers the wisdom that adoptive parents need to provide the best possible care for their children. Whether a child joins a family through domestic adoption, international adoption, or foster care, he or she may have needs that require additional consideration.

The foster parenting manual

The Foster Parenting Manual
A Practical Guide to Creating a Loving, Safe, and Stable Home

John DeGarmo

The Foster Parenting Manual is a comprehensive guide offering proven, friendly advice for novice and experienced parents alike. Distilling many years’ experience into one book, this book describes what you can expect from foster parenting, how to access help and support and how to ensure the best care for your child.

Foster parenting step-by-step

Foster Parenting Step-By-Step
How to Nurture the Traumatized Child and Overcome Conflict

Kalyani Gopal

Foster Parenting Step-by-Step is a concise how-to guide to fostering that summarizes what to expect as a foster parent, and gives immediate practical solutions. It outlines the different stages of a fostering relationship, raising common issues encountered at each age and how to tackle them. It also explains the impact of trauma on your child: how this can show itself through challenging behavior and how to respond to it.

Journey to same-sex parenthood

Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood
Firsthand Advice, Tips, and Stories From Lesbian and Gay Couples

Eric Rosswood

Same-sex couples are faced with many different options when choosing to have children today. In Journey to Same-Sex Parenthood, author, activist and father Eric Rosswood guides and helps prospective LGBT parents to explore these five popular options: Adoption, Foster Care, Assisted Reproduction, Surrogacy and Co-Parenting.

More love, less panic

More Love, Less Panic
7 Lessons I Learned About Life, Love, and Parenting After We Adopted Our Son From Ethiopia

Claude Knobler

In a funny and heartwarming memoir, a writer shares his attempts to turn his wild, silly, adopted African son named Nati into a quiet, neurotic Jewish guy like himself, until he realized the importance of letting children become who they are supposed to be, not who we think they should be.

The science of parenting adopted children

The Science of Parenting Adopted Children
A Brain-Based, Trauma-Informed Approach to Cultivating Your Child’s Social, Emotional and Moral Development

Arleta James

Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with attachment theory, this book shows how adoptive parents can help their traumatised child develop. It looks at the many different factors that can manifest in trauma, and how parents should respond to them.

Thicker than blood?

Thicker Than Blood?
A Fresh Look at Adoption, Fostering and Step Families

Ann Merivale

The author of this book is both an adoptive mother and a Deep Memory Process therapist, who has in her counselling practice encountered many cases of both adoptees and adopters. The result is a very broad-based book containing numerous fascinating stories of past-life family connections, indicating that everyone is in the family that they are in for a reason and that difficulties can stimulate spiritual growth.

To the end of June

To the End of June
The Intimate Life of American Foster Care

Cris Beam

Filled with the passionate voices of children, foster and biological parents, case workers and reformers, this authoritative examination of the foster care system reveals why it is failing the kids it is supposed to protect and offers hope for changing a system in crisis.

Twenty things adopted kids wish their adoptive parents knew

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Sherrie Eldridge

The parents of adopted children will appreciate this frank, insightful window into the often hidden emotional world of adoptees, focusing on the special fears, wishes, and motivations that separate adopted kids from birth children.

You can adopt

You Can Adopt
An Adoptive Families Guide

Susan Caughman, Isolde Motley

Provides answers to common questions on adoption, including advice and honest stories from lawyers, social workers, parents, and childen.