Books for Children and Adults

Use the buttons below to browse the children and adult book resource categories.

Books for Children

ABC, Adoption & Me

Gayle H. Swift with Casey A. Swift

Named a Favorite Read of 2013 by Adoptive Families magazine, this book celebrates the blessing of family and addresses the difficult issues as well with exuberant, multicultural illustrations to depict a wide range of families. It also includes a parent guide.

Adoption Is a Lifelong Journey

Kelly DiBenedetto, Katie Gorczyca and Jennifer Eckert

This illustrated book — a tool for families touched by adoption and foster care — provides insight into emotions and thoughts an adoptee or foster child might encounter while also equipping parents and caregivers with responses and resources.

A Forever Family

Roslyn Banish

Eight-year-old Jenny tells her story, including living with her biological parents, foster parents, and finally about being adopted in a courtroom and having a big celebration. Photos help to make the story realistic.

A Mother for Choco

Keiko Kasza

Choco is a motherless little bird who sets out to find his mother. Finally Mrs. Bear reaches out to him, offering to be his mother and after some difficulty at first, he accepts her as his new mommy.

All About Adoption: How Families Are Made & How Kids Feel About It

Dr Marc A Nemiroff PH.D. and Jane Annunziata PsyD Psy.D.

For the child who already understands the concept of adoption, this work provides a deeper understanding of how the adoption process works and the feelings that many children have about being adopted. Topics include why children are given up for adoption and why adoptive parents want to adopt.

All Kinds of Families

Norma Simon

Many different kinds of families are described.

And That’s Why She’s My Mama

Tiarra Nazario

Mamas come in all different shapes, colors, and ages, but they all have one thing in common. They love you! Enjoy the multiple characters in this children’s story which explores the loving tasks of what makes a Mama.

Beginnings: How Families Come to Be

Virginia Kroll

This is a beautifully illustrated book with six diverse stories of different types of families, told from the perspective of a child asking questions of his parents about how they got to become a family, including single parent, kinship adoption, birth family, etc. Good for reading to and with parents.


Holly Keller

Little Horace, who looks like a leopard, has spots, while his adoptive parents, who look like tigers, have stripes. He finds a family that looks like him in the park one day and has a wonderful time playing with them, and at the end of the day, realizes that he misses him family, and, instead of going home with the leopard family, he runs home to his parents. He learns that being a family has nothing to do with what you look like.

I Bet She Called Me Sugarplum

Joanne V. Gabbin

A young child delights in her mother’s recounting of favorite family memories, including the story of her adoption and birth mother.

Is That Your Sister? A True Story of Adoption

Catherine Bunin and Sherry Bunin

A realistic story told by six-year-old Catherine, who is bi-racial and transracially adopted. Answers adoption related questions.

I’ve Loved You Since Forever

Hoda Kotb

I’ve Loved You Since Forever is a celebratory and poetic testament to the timeless love felt between parent and child. This beautiful picture book is inspired by Hoda Kotb’s heartwarming adoption of her daughter.

I Wished For You

Marianne Richmond

I Wished for You: An Adoption Story follows a conversation between a little bear named Barley and his Mama as they curl up in their favorite cuddle spot and talk about how God chose them to be a family. Barley asks Mama the kinds of questions many adopted children have, and Mama lovingly answers them all.

Lucy’s Family Tree

Karen Halvorsen Schreck

Lucy, who was born in Mexico and adopted by her blond parents in the United States, tells about how she handles her family tree assignment. An excellent book for teachers to use when explaining variations of the family tree project.


Lois Wickstrom

Oliver, an alligator-like creature, is mischievous and is sent to his room. He is angry at his adoptive parents and, while confined to his room, daydreams about his birth parents. He wonders what life would be like if he lived with them. Expresses the feelings of many young adopted children.

Pablo’s Tree

Pat Mora

In a heartwarming intergenerational story, Pablo cannot wait to visit his grandfather and discover what treasures will be placed on his tree, a tree that was purchased when Pablo was adopted and that, each year, is decorated with special surprises.

Sam’s Sister

Juliet C. Bond

Sam’s Sister follows six-year-old Rosa as she comes to understand her mother’s choice to place her brother for adoption, learns about adoption, and experiences his birth and placement with Sarah and Joe.

Two Dads

Carolyn Robertson

Having Two Dads is double the fun! Many families are different, this family has Two Dads. A beautifully illustrated, affirming story of life with Two Dads, written from the perspective of their adopted child.

We See The Moon

Carrie Kitze

Adapting the concept from the song — “I see the moon, the moon sees me…Please let the moon that comforts me, comfort the one I love.” — readers watch the heroine of the story use the moon as a private tool to connect with the birth family that is always with her in her imagination.

Why Am I Different

Norma Simon

Children explain the many things that make them unique. Mentions adoption, but does not focus on it.

Why Can’t You Look Like Me?

Ola Zuri

This is the story of a young girl who has been adopted transracially and feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere, even within her own family.

William is My Brother

Jane T. Schnitter

This story focuses on families built by both birth and adoption through the eyes of Tony, who was born to the family.

You’re Not My REAL Mother!

Molly Friedrich

In a story about a white mother talking to her Asian child, the book describes the things “real mothers” do every day in a warm, affectionate tone. The illustrations are colorful and full of fun.

For Adolescents

Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing!

Carrie Goldman and Juliet C. Bond

Ten-year-old Jazzy Armstrong, the only adoptee in her family, feels different from her parents and her two older sisters. Jazzy, who loves Star Wars, needs to find out what makes her amazing in time for the community talent show.

Lost in the System

Charlotte Lopez with Susan Dworkin

This is the story of Miss Teen USA 1992 who was finally adopted after many years in the foster care system.

Perspectives on a Grafted Tree: Thoughts for Those Touched by Adoption

Patricia Irwin Johnston

This collection of poetry provides much food for thought.

Pieces of Me: Who do I Want to Be?

Various Authors

Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? is a collection of heartfelt poems, essays, songs, and artwork that give voice to the unique struggles and experiences of adopted teenagers.

See No Color

Shannon Gibney

Sixteen-year-old Alex Kirtridge is a biracial girl with a white family, which never seemed to matter until recently.  She discovers letters from her biological father that her parents kept for her; she meets Reggie, the first black guy who wants to get to know her, and she begins to question her identity.

The Colours in Me: Writing & Poetry by Adopted Children & Youth

Perlita Harris

This book is a beautiful collection of poetry, personal stories, interviews and artwork by children and young adults ages five to twenty who have been impacted by adoption.

The English American

Alison Larkin

The English American is perfect for anybody wanting to explore the journey of an adoptee because of the honest feelings Larkin expresses. When the main character, Pippa, learns at age twenty-eight that her birth parents are from the American South, she feels that lifelong questions have been answered.

The Great Gilly Hopkins

Katherine Paterson

A well-written story about a mischievous, spunky, intelligent girl as she at first resists becoming close to her foster family.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Follow the story of Sal who is finding his place with his adoptive gay father and navigating senior year of high school.

The Pinballs

Betsy Byars

The Pinballs is about Carlie, Harvey and Thomas J, three children who are made to live together in a foster home. At first, they don’t get along, as each is carrying personal burdens from difficult home lives. But over time, they find ways to help each other, and in doing so, forge a bond. The characters grow and change during the story.

The Wanderer

Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Sophie, skipping between “dreamland or earthland or muleland,” hears the sea calling her. Much to the concern of her adopted parents, she decides to join her uncles and male cousins on a sailing voyage from Connecticut across the Atlantic to England (and her grandfather Bompie) on a 45-foot sailboat. Not only does she want to make the trip, she feels she has to.

Books for Adults

A Child’s Journey Through Placement

Vera L. Fahlberg, M.D.

The definitive resource! A look at all the factors which affect children who are in the child welfare system and who then are adopted.

Adopting the Hurt Child

Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky

A realistic, yet hopeful look at children adopted after difficult beginnings. Useful for parents and the professionals who work with the children and their families.

Adopting the Older Child

Claudia L. Jewett

A nationally known family counselor and adoptive parent explains what is in store for those who decide to open their hearts to a waiting child.

Adoption Nation

Adam Pertman

A fascinating look at adoption today and how it impacts lives and our culture.

And You Are Still You – Developing & Maintaining a Stable Sense of Worth

Holly van Gulden and Ann Sutton

This Resource Manual is a working tool which is based on the model of attachment, child development and therapy taught by Holly van Gulden. It aims to give the theory to understand the behaviors of children and young people that workers, parents and carers so often experience in adoptive and foster families.

An Educator’s Guide to Adoption

A handy 22 page booklet which provides adoption information and suggestions to teachers.

Anti-Bias Curriculum. Tools for Empowering Young Children

Louise Derman-Sparks

How to create an atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance of differences.

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents

Deborah D. Gray

Explaining that attachment forms the template for future adult relationships, the author stresses how important it is for adoptive parents to be patient in forging this new bond. She shows how to create a high structure/high nurture environment for your child. An invaluable resource.

Being Adopted, The Lifelong Search for Self

David M. Brodzinsky, Marshall D. Schechter, and Robin M. Harris.

A very readable discussion of the issues common to all adopted children and adults.

Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens

Debbie Riley

Case studies and treatment considerations for therapists and parent.

Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America

Sandra Lee Patton

Through in-depth interviews with adult transracial adoptees, as well as with social workers in adoption agencies, Sandra Patton, herself an adoptee, explores the social construction of race, identity, gender, and family and the ways in which these interact with public policy about adoption.

Black Baby, White Hands:  A View From the Crib

Jaiya John

Jaiya John was the first African American baby adopted by a white family in the state of New Mexico. John’s lyrical memoir details his life as a black child growing up in a mostly-white community during the late 1960s and ‘70s.

Brown Babies, Pink Parents: A Practical Guide to Transracial Parenting

Amy Ford

This short, accessible book provides an overview of issues that all new or prospective white parents raising children of color need to be thinking about.

Building the Bonds of Attachment

Dan Hughes

Illustrates the process of repairing children who have been severely damaged by abuse and neglect.

From Fear to Love

Brian Post

Provides new and highly effective techniques for parents dealing with behavioral challenges with their children. Intended for parents, adoptive parents, foster parents and caretakers of at-risk, ADD/ADHD/RAD,ODD, adopted children and children with behavioral and emotional challenges.

Gender Born, Gender Made

Diane Ehrensaft, PhD

This is an outstanding reference—an indispensible guide for those providing care for gender-nonconforming youth. Dr. Ehrensaft eloquently presents evidence to support her enlightened and impassioned plea to advocate for the ‘true gender self’ of all children.

Helping Children Cope with Separation and Loss

Claudia Jewett Jarratt

Here is compassionate, step-by-step guidance for any concerned adult who wants to help a child talk about, cope with, and recover from a loss.

Inside Transracial Adoption

Beth Hall and Gail Steinberg

An up-to-date book which covers all of the complexities of transracial adoption from a personal and well-informed perspective.

Learning the Dance of Attachment

Holly van Gulden and Charlotte Vick

Learning the Dance of Attachment, An Adoptive/Foster Parent’s Guide to Nurturing Healthy Development, is a child development guide specifically written for adoptive and foster parents. 

Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child

Beth O’Malley

Lifebooks help families answer difficult questions and provide a link between adoptees and their history. This resource will help you create a treasure for your child.

Making Sense of Adoption, A Parent’s Guide

Lois Ruskai Melina

Basic information regarding adoption. Some good information, but a bit outdated especially in resource referrals.

Parenting Adopted Adolescents-Understanding and Appreciating Their Journey

Gregory Keck

Experienced adoptive parent and therapist, Keck writes to demonstrate that all children who are adopted into their families must deal with the developmental issues of adolescence as well as adoption-related issues, either simultaneously or alternately.

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow

Gregory C. Keck and Regina M. Kupecky

The authors explain how to manage a hurting child with loving wisdom and resolve, and how to preserve your stability while untangling a thorny heart.

Perspectives on a Grafted Tree

Compiled by Patricia Irwin Johnston

Poems expressing the emotions of adoption. A wonderful gift book.

Playful Parenting

Lawrence J. Cohen

This is an exciting approach to raising children that will help you nurture close connections, solve behavior problems, and encourage confidence. It is a welcome reminder that the serious business of parenthood can also be fun! A Family Builders favorite.

Post Adoption Blues

Micky Duxbury

The postadoption blues explores the challenging time after adoption when adoptive parents are often expect to feel blessed, enriched, and ready for whatever comes, especially since they have crawled over coals to get to there. The truth, the authors point out, is that this is a vulnerable time that has the potential to turn into a crisis as unexpected and unanticipated feelings arise.

Raising Adopted Children, A Manual for Adoptive Parents

Lois Ruskai Melina

An excellent source of sound information

Real Parents, Real Children

Holly van Gulden and Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb

An adoptive parent and professional brings a wealth of insight and practical advice to parents.

Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Guides the way to peace and tranquility with humor, compassion and understanding, making life easier for both siblings and their parents.

The Adoption Reader

Susan Wadia-Ellis, ED

The stories in this collection are told by birth mothers, adoptive mothers, and adopted daughters. They provide valuable insights into the adoption experience.

The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

Nadine Burke Harris, M.D.

In The Deepest Well, Nadine Burke Harris uncovers the once-hidden story of the effect of childhood trauma. She offers a new set of tools, based in science,  that can help each of us heal ourselves, our children, and our world.

The Family of Adoption

Joyce Maguire Pavao

This is a must read for parents and professionals. Dr. Pavao illustrates through stories her view that adoption affects all involved through generations in a predictable and normal way. It provides a framework for thinking about adoption and adoptive family life.

The Open Adoption Experience

Lois Ruskai Melina and Sharon Kaplan Roszia

A guide for everyone involved in or considering open adoption and for those who want to learn more about it.

The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals

Stephanie Brill and Rachel Pepper

This comprehensive first of its kind guidebook explores the unique challenges that thousands of families face every day raising their children in every city and state. Through extensive research and interviews, as well as years of experience working in the field, the authors cover gender variance from birth through college.

The Women Who Raised Me

Victoria Rowell

Detailing Rowell’s experiences in the numerous households of her youth (and beyond), The Women Who Raised Me stays close to its title in theme and intention, paying homage to the biological mother, foster mothers, teachers, mentors, friends, and child welfare workers who helped Rowell grow into the person she is today—a successful actress, dancer, activist, and mother.

To the End of June

Cris Beam

Cris Beam, a foster mother herself, spent five years immersed in the world of foster care looking into these questions and tracing firsthand stories. The result is To the End of June, an unforgettable portrait that takes us deep inside the lives of foster children in their search for a stable, loving family.

Twenty Life Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make

Sherrie Eldridge

A celebration of adoption, this book is based on the fact that adoption raises some of life’s most difficult questions, but also creates opportunities to truly understand yourself. It invigorates the healing process by engaging the difficult questions and emphasizing your ability to take control of your emotions through the choices you make.

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

Sherrie Eldridge

This book gives voice to children’s unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.

7 Core Issues of Adoption

Deborah N. Silverstein and Sharon Kaplan

This brief article covers the 7 major challenges that can be found within the adoption triad. This is a must read for any adoptive or prospective adoptive parent.