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International, Transracial & Interfaith Adoption

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Featured Books in this Category / Main Booklist

Featured Books 

Are Those Kids Yours?

Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging. Eleana Kim, $28.95

Since the end of the Korean War, an estimated 200,000 children from South Korea have been adopted into white families in North America, Europe, and Australia. While these transnational adoptions were initiated as an emergency measure to find homes for mixed-race children born in the aftermath of the war, the practice grew exponentially from the 1960s through the 1980s. Most of the adoptees were raised with little exposure to Koreans or other Korean adoptees, but as adults, through global flows of communication, media, and travel, they have come into increasing contact with each other, Korean culture, and the South Korean state.

In this fascinating ethnography, Eleana Kim examines the history of Korean adoption, the emergence of a distinctive adoptee collective identity, and adoptee returns to Korea in relation to South Korean modernity and globalization.


Are Those Kids Yours?

Adoption Beyond Borders: How International Adoption Benefits Children. Rebecca Compton, $34.50

International adoptions have decreased dramatically in the last decade, despite robust evidence of the tremendous benefits that early placement in adoptive families can confer upon children who are not able to remain with birth families. Adoption Beyond Borders integrates evidence from a range of disciplines in the social and biological sciences — including psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, sociology, anthropology, and social work — to provide a ringing endorsement of international adoption as a viable child welfare option. The author interweaves narrative accounts of her own adoption journey, which involved visiting a Kazakhstani orphanage daily for nearly a year, to illustrate the complexities and implications of the research evidence.

Topics include: the effects of institutionalization on children's developing brains, cognitive abilities, and socio-emotional functioning; the challenges of navigating issues of identity when adopting across national, cultural, and racial lines; the strong emotional bonds that form even without genetic relatedness; and the methods in which adoptive families can address the special needs of children who experienced early neglect and deprivation, thereby providing a supportive environment in which those children can flourish. Striving to attain a balanced, evidence-based perspective on controversial issues, Adoption Beyond Borders argues that international adoption must be maintained and supported as a vital means of promoting international child welfare.

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Are Those Kids Yours?

"Are Those Kids Yours?" American Families with Children Adopted from Other Countries, Cheri Register, $23.00

The question "are those kids yours?" has a familiar ring to parents who have adopted children from South Korea, India, Colombia, the Philippines, and other countries. As natural and normal as it feels to them to be together, such families are often asked to explain their obvious difference.  

The book addresses many central issues about international adoption: why children are in need of adoption outside the country of their birth, why parents choose to adopt from other countries, how parents explain the cultural circumstances of their childrens' births and how the children perceive this, how families foster ethnic identity, how they deal with racism, and how living as a multicultural family affects their view of the world.


Babies Without Borders: Adoption and Migration across the Americas. Karen Dubinsky, $21.95

Neither celebrating nor condemning cross-cultural adoption, Karen Dubinsky considers the political symbolism of children in her examination of adoption and migration controversies in North America, Cuba, and Guatemala.

Drawing from extensive research as well as from her critical observations as an adoptive parent, Karen Dubinsky aims to move adoption debates beyond the current dichotomy of 'imperialist kidnap' versus 'humanitarian rescue.' Integrating the personal with the scholarly, Babies Without Borders exposes what happens when children bear the weight of adult political conflicts.

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Beyond Good Intentions: a Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children. Cheri Register, $21.75

In these boldly written essays, Cheri Register, the mother of two adult daughters adopted as infants from Korea, questions the conventional wisdom about raising internationally adopted children, calling attention to ten choices well-meaning parents make that turn out not to serve their children's needs as well as one might expect. She calls for a frank and intimate conversation about the distinct challenges of raising children adopted across national, cultural, and, often, racial boundaries. By avoiding pat answers that fall short of families' real needs she affirms the hard work and loving devotion that parenthood demands.


China Ghosts: My Daughter’s Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood. Jeff Gammage, $18.99

Alive with insight and feeling, China Ghosts is an eye-opening depiction of the foreign adoption process and a remarkable glimpse into a different culture. It is a heartfelt, poignant, intensely intimate chronicle of the making of a family.

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The Complete Book of International Adoption. Dawn Davenport, $24.00

From the initial decision, through returning home with your child, author Dawn Davenport takes parents step by step through the entire process of adopting a child from another country. The Complete Book of International Adoption is a valuable guide to helping parents manage the emotional rollercoaster as well as the practical aspects that come with the international adoption decision and process. Sensitive, wise, and witty, this book is a must-have for any parent considering building their family through adoption.


Culture Keeping: White Mothers, International Adoption and the Negotiation of Family Difference. Heather Jacobson, $30.95

Sociologist Heather Jacobson examines a relatively new social phenomenon - the practice by international adoptive parents, mothers in particular, of incorporating aspects of their children’s cultures of origin into their families’ lives.  What implications does this “culture keeping” have, as parents work to construct ethnic identities for their children?


Forever Lily: an Unexpected Mother’s Journey to Adoption in China. Beth Nonte Russell, $15.99

"Will you take her?" she asks.

When Beth Nonte Russell travels to China to help her friend Alex adopt a baby girl from an orphanage there, she thinks it will be an adventure, a chance to see the world. But her friend, who had prepared for the adoption for many months, panics soon after being presented with the frail baby, and the situation develops into one of the greatest challenges of Russell's life. As it becomes clear that her friend — whose indecisiveness about the adoption has become a torment — won't be bringing the baby home, Russell is amazed to realize that she cannot leave the baby behind and that her dreams have been telling her something significant, giving her the courage to open her heart and bring the child home against all odds.

Steeped in Chinese culture, Forever Lily is an extraordinary account of a life-changing, wholly unexpected love.

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From China with Love: a Long Road to Motherhood. Emily Buchanan, $31.99

Although Emily Buchanan had a highly successful career in broadcasting and a loving husband there was something missing from her life: she desperately wanted children. After the trauma of three miscarriages, Emily and her husband Gerald were forced to accept the knowledge that they would not be able to have children of their own and decided to look into adoption. In this touching story Emily describes their first meeting with Jade Lin, who had been left on the steps of an orphanage in a small town in Inner Mongolia just after she had been born. Unlike many of the thousands of less fortunate babies abandoned each year in China, Jade Lin had been placed with a foster family before being approved for adoption and allocated to a family. It was love at first sight for Emily and Gerald, but they still had obstacles of language and culture to cross, as well as dealing with the reaction of friends and family back at home. This diary tells in vivid detail the highs and lows of Emily's journey to motherhood.


The Handbook of International Adoption Medicine: a Guide for Physicians, Parents and Providers. Laurie Miller, $55.95

The Handbook of International Adoption Medicine presents an overview of the medical and developmental issues that affect internationally adopted children, offering guidelines for families and physicians before, during, and after adoption. Laurie Miller has comprehensively researched these topics and also draws from over fifteen years of experience in international adoption and orphanages throughout the world. This book shows how to advise families prior to an international adoption, how to perform an effective initial screening assessment of the newly arrived child, how to manage common behaviour problems, and how to recognize and manage developmental and other more long-term problems as they emerge. Sections cover such subjects as the risks of prenatal exposures, problems in growth and development, infectious diseases, and other medical conditions such as inherited disorders, uncertain age, and precocious puberty. This book is an invaluable resource for families and professionals in the field of international adoption.


In Their Parents' Voices: Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees. Rita Simon & Rhonda Roorda, $36.95

In Their Own Voices offered the shared the experiences of twenty-four black and biracial children who had been adopted into white families in the late 1960s and 70s … Now, in this sequel, we hear from the parents of these remarkable families and learn what it was like for them to raise children across racial and cultural lines.

These candid interviews shed light on the issues these parents encountered, what part race played during thirty plus years of parenting, what they learned about themselves, and whether they would recommend trans-racial adoption to others. Combining trenchant historical and political data with absorbing firsthand accounts, Simon and Roorda once more bring an academic and human dimension to the literature on transracial adoption.

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Inside Transracial Adoption: Strength-Based, Culture-Sensitizing Parenting Strategies for Inter-Country or Domestic Adoptive Families that Don’t “Match”, 2nd Edition. Gail Steinberg & Beth Hall, $28.95

Inside Transracial Adoption is an authoritative guide to navigating the challenges and issues that parents face in the USA when they adopt a child of a different race and/or from a different culture. Filled with real-life examples and strategies for success, this book explores in depth the realities of raising a child transracially, whether in a multicultural or a predominantly white community. Readers will learn how to help children adopted transracially or trans-nationally build a strong sense of identity, so that they will feel at home both in their new family and in their racial group or culture of origin. This second edition incorporates the latest research on positive racial identity and multicultural families, and reflects recent developments and trends in adoption.


The Interracial Adoption Option: Creating a Family Across Race. Marlene Fine & Fern Johnson, $22.95

The perfect starting point for parents of transracially adopted children and those who are considering adopting transracially. The Interracial Adoption Option is a personal guide to interracial adoption which draws on the lives and experiences of the authors, a white US couple, who adopt two African-American children. Starting from their decision to adopt their first child interracially, it describes the situations and decisions that followed as a result of their child's racial background. The authors' combine their personal experiences with practical advice. They address common issues like where to live, how to choose a doctor and how to take care of your child's hair and skin. They also tackle difficult questions such as, 'Does race matter?' 'Why is a healthy racial identity important?' and 'What do I do if I suspect my child is being treated unfairly because of his/her race?'

An accessible introduction to the complex world of interracial adoption, this book is the first book you need to read if you are thinking of adopting transracially or have done so already.


The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption and the Children of War in Vietnam. Dana Sachs, $23.00

In April 1975, just before the fall of Saigon, the U.S. government launched "Operation Babylift," a highly publicized plan to evacuate nearly three thousand displaced Vietnamese children and place them with adoptive families overseas. Chaotic from start to finish, the mission gripped the world. Now, 35 years after the war ended, Dana Sachs examines this unprecedented event more carefully, revealing how a single public-policy gesture irrevocably altered thousands of lives, not always for the better.

With sensitivity and balance, The Life We Were Given will inspire impassioned discussion and spur dialogue on the human cost of war, international adoption and aid efforts, and U.S. involvement in Vietnam.


Made in China: a Story of Adoption. Vanita Oelschlager, Illustrated by Kristin Blackwood, $19.95

Made In China is the story of an adopted Chinese girl coping with two emotionally charged subjects; understanding her adoption and coping with sibling rivalry. Teased by her sister for having as much worth as their Chinese-made broom, she must now try to understand where she came from and feels the anxiety of whether she really belongs in her North American family. With help from her father, the adopted sister learns the value of her Chinese beginnings. Later, the girls accept their differences and embrace the joy that comes within a loving family.

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Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Love and Loss. Xinran, $19.95

Ten chapters, ten women and many stories of heartbreak. Xinran takes the reader into the lives of Chinese women and their lost daughters. Personal, full of sorrow and full of hope, this book sends a message of love to Chinese girls who have been adopted and show them how things really were for their birth mothers — and tells them that they will never be forgotten.


Once They Hear My Name: Korean Adoptees and Their Journeys Toward Identity. Marilyn Lammert, Ellen Lee & Mary Anne Hess, $14.75

Once They Hear My Name brings to life the stories of nine Korean adoptees, who, in their own words, talk about growing up far from their ethnic origins. These are tales of acceptance and rejection, of struggle and success. The book is a major step forward in our collective understanding of the cultural hurdles international adoptees must tackle everyday.


Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child: From Your First Hours Together through the Teen Years. Patty Cogen, $21.50

Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child guides adoptive parents in promoting a child’s emotional and social adjustment, from the family’s first hours together through the teen years. Parents waiting to meet their adoptive children will appreciate Cogen’s advice about preparing for the trip and handling the first meeting. The author’s main focus, though, is the child’s adaptation over the next months and years. Cogen explains how to deal with the child’s “mixed maturities”; how (and why) to tell the child’s story from the child’s point of view; how to handle sleep problems and resistance to household rules; and how to encourage eye contact and ease transitions and separations. The reassuring narrative tone and the breadth and depth of information make this the most substantive and accessible book available and an indispensable resource for parents who adopt, professionals who advise adoptive parents, and teachers of adoptive children.

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Somebody's Children: the Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption. Laura Briggs, $28.95

In Somebody's Children, Laura Briggs examines the social and cultural forces—poverty, racism, economic inequality, and political violence—that have shaped transracial and transnational adoption in the United States during the second half of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first.

The dramatic expansion of transracial and transnational adoption since the 1950s, Briggs argues, was the result of specific and profound political and social changes, including the large-scale removal of Native children from their parents, the condemnation of single African American mothers in the context of the civil rights struggle, and the largely invented "crack babies" scare that inaugurated the dramatic withdrawal of benefits to poor mothers in the United States. In Guatemala, El Salvador, and Argentina, governments disappeared children during the Cold War and then imposed neoliberal economic regimes with U.S. support, making the circulation of children across national borders easy and often profitable. Concluding with an assessment of present-day controversies surrounding gay and lesbian adoptions and the struggles of immigrants fearful of losing their children to foster care, Briggs challenges celebratory or otherwise simplistic accounts of transracial and transnational adoption by revealing some of their unacknowledged causes and costs.


Somebody’s Daughter: a Novel. Marie Myung-Ok Lee, $15.95

Somebody's Daughter is the story of nineteen-year-old Sarah Thorson, who was adopted as a baby by a Lutheran couple in the Midwest. After dropping out of college, she decides to study in Korea and becomes more and more intrigued by her Korean heritage, eventually embarking on a crusade to find her birth mother. Paralleling Sarah's story is that of Kyung-sook, who was forced by difficult circumstances to let her baby be swept away from her immediately after birth, but who has always longed for her lost child.


Supporting Development in Internationally Adopted Children. Deborah Hwa-Froelich, $42.95

This is the evidence-based resource professionals need to fully understand the development of children adopted from abroad, make appropriate recommendations and referrals, and choose interventions that ensure the best outcomes. Professionals working with internationally adopted children will get in-depth, research-based chapters on 7 key aspects of development for children adopted from abroad:

  • physical growth, health and motor development
  • social-emotional development
  • cognitive development
  • self-regulation, attention and memory development
  • hearing, speech and feeding development
  • pre-linguistic, receptive and expressive language development; social communication development.

With the clear and helpful referral indicators in each chapter, it's much easier for professionals to make educated decisions about whether a child needs further assessment. And the diverse case studies and lists of key points make the book's critical takeaways easy to remember and implement. A must-have for a wide range of professionals— including early interventionists, educators, SLPs, therapists, pediatricians, and social workers— this book is the key to appropriate services that ensure the best outcomes for children adopted from abroad.

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10 Steps to Successful International Adoption: a Guided Workbook for Prospective Parents. Brenda Uekert, $23.95

A concise, practical workbook that will help readers make informed decisions and move forward in their adoption plans.


Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption. Barbara Katz Rothman, $25.95

Weaving together the sociological, the historical, and the personal, Barbara Katz Rothman looks at the contemporary American family through the lens of race, race through the lens of adoption, and all-race, family, and adoption-within the context of the changing meanings of motherhood.


White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption. Darron Smith, Cardell Jacobson & Brenda Juárez, $47.95

White Parents, Black Children looks at the difficult issue of race in transracial adoptions—particularly the adoption by white parents of children from different racial and ethnic groups. This book aims to bring to light racial issues that are often difficult for families to talk about, focusing on the racial socialization white parents provide for their transracially adopted children about what it means to be black in contemporary society. Blending the stories of adoptees and their parents with extensive research, the authors discuss trends in transracial adoptions, and offer suggestions to help adoptees develop a healthy sense of self.

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Complete Booklist

Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging. Eleana Kim, $28.95

Adopting in China: a Practical Guide/an Emotional Journey. Kathleen Wheeler & Doug Werner, $13.50

Adoption Beyond Borders: How International Adoption Benefits Children. Rebecca Compton, $34.50

Adoption and the Jewish Family: Contemporary Perspectives: Contemporary Perspectives. Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg, $25.95

Are Those Kids Yours? American Families with Children Adopted from Other Countries. Cheri Register, $23.00

Babies Without Borders: Adoption and Migration across the Americas. Karen Dubinsky, $21.95

Beyond Good Intentions: a Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children. Cheri Register, $21.75

China Ghosts: My Daughter’s Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood. Jeff Gammage, $18.99

The Complete Book of International Adoption. Dawn Davenport, $24.00

Cross-Cultural Adoption: How to Answer Questions from Family, Friends and Community. Amy Coughlin & Caryn Abramowitz, $22.95

Culture Keeping: White Mothers, International Adoption and the Negotiation of Family Difference. Heather Jacobson, $30.95

Forever Lily: an Unexpected Mother’s Journey to Adoption in China. Beth Nonte Russell, $15.99

From China with Love: a Long Road to Motherhood. Emily Buchanan, $31.99

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The Handbook of International Adoption Medicine: a Guide for Physicians, Parents and Providers. Laurie Miller, $55.95

I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children. Sara Dorow (ed), $21.95

In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories. Rita Simon & Rhonda Roorda, $34.95

In Their Parents' Voices: Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees. Rita Simon & Rhonda Roorda, $36.95

Inside Transracial Adoption: Strength-Based, Culture-Sensitizing Parenting Strategies for Inter-Country or Domestic Adoptive Families that Don’t “Match”, 2nd Edition. Gail Steinberg & Beth Hall, $28.95

The Interracial Adoption Option: Creating a Family Across Race. Marlene Fine & Fern Johnson, $22.95

The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption and the Children of War in Vietnam. Dana Sachs, $23.00

The Lost Daughters of China: Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past, Revised Edition. Karin Evans, $22.50

Made in China: a Story of Adoption. Vanita Oelschlager, Illustrated by Kristin Blackwood, $19.95

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Love and Loss. Xinran, $19.95

My China Workbook: a Lifebook Tool for Kids Adopted from China. Beth O’Malley, $17.95

Once They Hear My Name: Korean Adoptees and Their Journeys Toward Identity. Marilyn Lammert, Ellen Lee & Mary Anne Hess, $14.75

Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption. Jane Jeong Trenka et al, $24.00

Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child: From Your First Hours Together through the Teen Years. Patty Cogen, $21.50

A Passage to the Heart: Writings from Families with Children from China. Amy Klatzkin, $28.95

The Russian Adoption Handbook: How to Adopt from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Belarus, Georgia Azerbaijan and Moldova. John Mclean, $41.95

The Russian Word for Snow: a True Story of Adoption. Janis Cooke Newman, $15.50

Somebody's Children: the Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption. Laura Briggs, $28.95

Somebody’s Daughter. Marie Myung-Ok Lee, $17.95 (novel)

Supporting Development in Internationally Adopted Children. Deborah Hwa-Froelich, $42.95

10 Steps to Successful International Adoption: a Guided Workbook for Prospective Parents. Brenda Uekert, $23.95

Voices from Another Place: a Collection of Works from a Generation Born in Korea and Adopted to Other Countries. Susan Soon-Keum Cox (ed), $14.95

Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption, and Orphanage Care in China. Kay Ann Johnson, $30.95

Weaving a Family: Untangling Race and Adoption. Barbara Katz Rothman, $25.95

White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption. Darron Smith, Cardell Jacobson & Brenda Juárez, $47.95

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