In this completely revised and updated edition of Raising Adopted Children, Lois Melina, editor of Adopted Child newsletter and the mother of two children by adoption, draws on the latest research in psychology, sociology, and medicine to guide parents through all stages of their child’s development. Melina addresses the pressing adoption issues of today, such as open adoption, international adoption, and transracial adoption, and answers parents’ most frequently asked questions, such as:
- How will my child “bond” or form attachments to me?
- When and how should I tell my child that he was adopted?
- What should schools be told about my child?
- Will adoption make adolescent upheavals more complicated?
Up-to-date, sensitive, and clear, Raising Adopted Children is the definitive resource for all adoptive parents and concerned professionals.
“Some people may describe adoption as difficult; others simply describe it as different. I am inclined to think of it as complex,” writes Lois Ruskai Melina in the updated, revised Raising Adopted Children: Practical, Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent.
Adoption practices have evolved considerably since this book’s first publication in 1986, and the new version of the “Dr. Spock for adoptive parents” reflects the latest theories. Drawing on the findings and practices of pediatricians, social workers, scientists, and adoptive parents, Raising Adopted Children is carefully and thoroughly researched. Chapters on open adoption, international adoption, and transracial adoption are combined with advice on bonding and attachment, breast-feeding an adoptive infant (possible but complicated), dealing with schools, privacy issues, adopting a child with disabilities, adopting as a single parent, and the challenges of adolescence. While Melina’s many years of professional and personal experience shape her advice, she remains very evenhanded. For example, she’s a strong proponent of the “early telling” theory of adoption (being open about the adoption with the child from the beginning), but she also clearly presents other points of view, and, throughout the book, encourages parents to make decisions that feel right for them.
The text includes specific suggestions for explaining a child’s birth circumstances, including common misconceptions, and a valuable discussion about whether adoptees are at greater risk for behavior problems or learning disabilities. She also provides suggestions for setting rules for contact with biological parents, easing grief, and acknowledging a child’s history. A completely annotated list of selected references and resources rounds out this superior guide. –Ericka Lutz
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