Adoptimist Adoption Blog
December 7, 2016

10 Must-Read Adoption Books For Your Holiday Wish List


‘Tis the season to create a holiday wish list! Hopeful and current adoptive parents need these ten books to curl up with, and here’s why:

1:  In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption

Author Elisabeth O’Toole wrote this book for friends and relatives of the adoptive family to help them understand the adoption process. However, I think it’s a great read for anyone connected to adoption, including the hopeful parents. This honest and educational book is one you can refer to time and time again, and it makes a great gift for grandparents! 

2:  The Waiting: The True Story of a Lost Child, a Lifetime of Longing, and a Miracle for a Mother Who Never Gave Up

In 1928, Minka is raped at a picnic and becomes pregnant. The Waiting is the story of Minka’s baby being adopted and Minka’s prayer, to find her daughter again. The book spans eighty years of love, loss, and longing, and spoiler alert, there is a very happy ending. This is an excellent read for parents to learn about the points of view of an adoptee, a birth mother, and their extended family. 

3:  The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade

This is the number one book I recommend to families who are considering adoption. Ann Fessler interviews women who were coerced into placing their babies for adoption, forcing today’s adoptive family to remember why ethics in adoption are so important. Adoption’s history is unpleasant, to say the least, and impacted thousands of lives. 

4:  In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories

This anthology is a must-read for any family choosing to adopt transracially. The co-editor compiled the interviews they conducted with transracial adoptees, giving them a collective voice, and teaching hopeful parents what not to do, and perhaps more importantly, what to do in order to raise happy, healthy adoptees. 

5:  Dear Adoptive Parents: Things You Need to Know Right Now - from an Adoptee

Adoptee Madeleine Melcher offers parents advice and encouragement on adoption. Her main message is that we need to first and foremost listen to our children’s needs and respond to those needs. This is a one-of-a-kind book where an adoptee directly addresses those who choose to adopt. 

6:  You Can Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption

Julie Gumm, mother by adoption, offers parents a practical plan to financially prepare and pay for the adoption process. She covers everything from saving, (creative) fundraising, planning, and applying for available adoption grants. This easy-to-read and apply adoption book is essential to any hopeful parent.

7:  The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family

Written by three trauma and psychological experts, The Connected Child is well-known in the adoption community. Whether your child was adopted at birth, as a toddler, or older, the well-researched information in the book truly does bring “hope” and “healing”, as well as understanding, to the otherwise complicated matter of attachment. Full of practical advice for parents, I highly recommend that every adoptive parent read this book. 

8:  Real Parents, Real Children: Parenting the Adopted Child

This book, though twenty years old, is full of advice for parents who choose to adopt. They cover parenting and adoption related topics from the child’s infancy through adulthood. This book can be referred to time and time again: a classic. Because transparency and education never get old. 

9:  Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother

This book was gifted to me during our first adoption wait, and its raw honesty and humor was gripping. There is a place for education books, but there is also space for the hard and real feelings parents who hope to adopt have. I highly recommend reading this, whether you are in the trenches of your wait or have already adopted. 

10:  Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children

When we were waiting to adopt for the first time, I realized there were no books on the market that encouraged and educated families choosing to adopt transracially. After transracially adopting our third child, I released my well-researched book for families in the same position as ourselves: craving information and practical advice. My book includes resource suggestions, practical application exercises, discussion questions, and much more. 

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links.)


About The Author


Rachel Garlinghouse

Rachel Garlinghouse is a mom of four by transracial, domestic, and infant adoption. She’s the author of five books, including Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children. Her experiences have appeared on CNN, CBS, MSNBC, Huff Post Live, and NPR, as well as in hundreds of articles.

Connect with Rachel via her blog, White Sugar Brown Sugar, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Visit Rachel's site at www.whitesugarbrownsugar.com/
You can email Rachel at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About This Adoption Blog

The Adoptimist blog features advice, tips, and inspiration for adoptive parents who are actively pursuing adoption connections online.

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