Adoption-Focused Books

The number of adoptions finalized each year is rising, meaning that more and more parents and families will be looking for the best way to talk to their children about adoption. Sharing through books can be a great tool to help explain to your children the concept of adoption.

HiRes.jpgAny number of books are available to help adoptive parents explain adoption to their child, at any age. Adoption books cover many different themes regarding different topics related to adoption.

Some books available in the Coalition library include:

  • Zachary’s New Home by Paul and Geraldine Blomquist uses animals to explain the process of adoption, as well as the emotions that go along with it from a child’s point of view.
  • Double-Dip Feelings helps kids understand emotions and that you can have two or more very different emotions at the same time.
  • When Joe Comes Home teaches the international view about birth country and heritage, along with the excitement and anticipation felt by the adoptive family.
  • Susan and Gordon Adopt a Baby uses familiar faces from Sesame Street to explain the concept of adoption.
  • The Boy Who Wanted a Family provides the view of an older child who wants a permanent home, along with the emotional ups and downs while going through the process.
  • There Goes My Baby is a comic book geared towards adolescents that explains adoption.
  • Pugnose Has Two Special Families explains what an open adoption is and gives reassurance that it’s okay to love both sets of parents.

Some books might make your children uncomfortable or be something that they just don’t like. There are so many options for each topic, you’re bound to find one that fits.

Continue reading this tip sheet.


Highlights from the Coalition Lending Library

IMG_0652One of the first sights you’ll take in if you’re able to drop into our office here at the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families, is walls of books, CDs and DVDs, framing a comfortable seating area. We take pride in offering a large, ever-growing selection of informative and supportive books and teaching tools to families and child welfare workers throughout the state of Wisconsin, for free!

If you aren’t familiar with our library offerings, take a look at our website to peruse by title, author, or subject. You can select materials, add them to your cart, and check out online instantly. We mail them out to you with return postage paid. We always welcome you to come into our office and hand-pick your items, as well. We want what’s most convenient for you and your family.

Here are a handful of titles to give you a sampling of what we have to offer.*

Popularly Checked Out

  • Telling the Truth to your Adopted or Foster Child, by Betsy Keefer & Jayne Schooler
  • Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control, by Heather T. Forbes
  • Adoption Healing: A Path to Recovery for Mothers who Lost Children to Adoption, by Joe Soll & Karen Wilson Buterbaugh
  • Siblings in Adoption and Foster Care: Traumatic Separations and Honored Connections, by Deborah N. Silverstein
  • The Interracial Adoption Option, by Marlene G. Fine
  • In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell their Stories, by Rita J. Simon & Rhonda M. Roorda
  • Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish their Adoptive Parents Knew, by Sherrie Eldridge
  • Relatives Raising Children: An Overview of Kinship Care, by Joseph Crumbley & Robert L. Little
  • Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for the Adopted Child, by Beth O’Malley
  • Working with Traumatized Children: A Handbook for Healing, by Kathryn Brohl
  • Are We There Yet? – The Ultimate Road Trip: Adopting & Raising 22 Kids!, by Hector & Sue Badeau


  • “Beyond Consequences Live,” by Heather T. Forbes
  • “Struggle for Identity – Issues in Transracial Adoption”
  • “Characteristics of Successful Adoptive Families,” by the National Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption
  • “Creating Secure Attachment for Adopted Children,” by Heather Forbes
  • “Sensory World,” by Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross & Carol Kranowitz
  • “Bonding Through Touch,” by Three Hearts LLC
  • “Understanding Traumatized and Maltreated Children: The Core Concepts,” by Dr. Bruce Perry
  • “Foster Parents Working with Birth Parents,” by Vera Fahlberg

Recent Additions

  • Loving Harder: Our Family’s Odyssey through Adoption and Reactive Attachment Disorder, by Lori Hetzel & Aleksandra Corwin
  • Mindful Co-parenting; A Child-Friendly Path through Divorce, by Jeremy S. Gaies, Psy.D. & James B. Morris, Jr., Ph.D.
  • Building Self-Esteem in Children and Teens Who are Adopted or Fostered, by Dr. Sue Cornbluth
  • The Transgender Child: A Handbook for Families and Professionals, by Stephanie Brill
  • The Invisible String, by Patrice Karst
  • Guiding Your Teenager with Special Needs through the Transition from School to Adult Life, by Mary Korpi
  • ADHD Living Without Brakes, by Martin L. Kutscher MD
  • Parenting Without Panic: A Pocket Support Group for Parents of Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum, by Brenda Dater
  • The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind & Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk MD

Books for Children & Youth

  • Maybe Days – A Book for Children in Foster Care, by Jennifer Wilgocki & Marcia Kahn Wright
  • Families Change – A Book for Children Experiencing Termination of Parental Rights, by Julie Nelson
  • Ladybird’s Remarkable Relaxation: How Children (and Frogs, Dogs, Flamingoes and Dragons) Can Use Yoga Relaxation to Help Deal with Stress, Grief, Bullying and Lack of Confidence, by Michael Chissick
  • I Wished for You: An Adoption Story, by Marianne Richmond
  • Adolescent Volcanoes – Helping Adolescents and their Parents to Deal with Anger, by Warwick Pudney
  • Some Bunny to Talk to: A Story about Going to Therapy, by Cheryl Sterling
  • Little Volcanoes: Helping Young Children and their Parents to Deal with Anger, by Warwick Pudney
  • It Happened to Me – Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide, by Suzanne Buckingham Slade
  • You Grew in Our Hearts, by Vachelle Johnston
  • Creative Expression Activities for Teens – Exploring Identity through Art, Craft and Journaling, by Bonnie Thomas
  • The Disappointment Dragon, Learning to Cope with Disappointment (for All Children and Dragon Tamers, Including Those with Asperger’s Syndrome), by K.I. Al-Ghani
  • Keisha’s Doors – An Autism Story, by Marvie Ellis
  • Dear Wonderful You, Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth, by Diane Rene Christian & Dr. Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman
  • Why do I Have to? A Book for Children Who Find Themselves Frustrated by Everyday Rules, by Laurie Leventhal-Belfer

Our Resource Specialists are available in the office, or by phone, to help you locate just what you’re looking for, or to brainstorm ideas around a challenging issue you may be encountering. We look forward to helping you find the tools and information you’re seeking.

*Most items are in limited supply, so you may be added to a wait list to receive library materials.

See something that you want to read or view but you prefer not to wait? You can shop online and support the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families! Simply start out at (instead of simply and select the Coalition as your charity of choice.

World Wide Wednesday – January 6, 2016

iStock_000003621765_LargeIt’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s news in the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

  •  The ‘Flip The Script: Adult Adoptee Anthology’ has been released! The book is a diverse compilation of literature and art from adopted persons around the world.
  • Four Critical Elements of Connection: All learning begins with connection! Connections on the outside (with other people) actually create and strengthen neural connections within the brain. Eye contact, presence, touch and a playful setting are the four core components required to truly connect with others. Learn how to provide all four essential elements (and why) with this helpful guide.

  • Adoption Disruption: The Elephant in the Room
    Disruption.  I’ve always hated that word when referring to adoption. A movie might be disrupted by a noisy patron; a bus service line might be disrupted by a mechanical failure; sleep might be disrupted by a thunderstorm.  But to ‘disrupt’ an adoption signifies something much greater.
  • In 2016, America could finally have clear, nationwide information about the success rate of adoptions from foster care. But will it tell the whole story?

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

Inclusion in this post does not imply an endorsement by the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families. The Coalition is not responsible for the content of these resources.

World Wide Wednesday, April 1, 2015

iStock_000003621765_LargeIt’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s news in the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

World Wide Wednesday, April 9, 2014

174337705It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

  • The Extended Family of My Two Open Adoptions: I follow Donna out to the car where she shows me the festival of pink fabrics she’s planning to use to make a quilt for my seven-year-old daughter, Eve.

    I touch the colors and coo. Donna is not Eve’s godmother or even a family friend. She’s her biological great-aunt. As Donna and I talk quilts, Eve is inside the house, getting ready to hold her birth mother’s new baby, born just a week ago. Laney is almost 30, and more settled than she was when she gave birth to Eve. She has chosen to raise the new baby herself. As I walk in, Laney’s tight, rust-colored curls fall on Eve’s face as she places the infant in Eve’s arms. My energetic little girl becomes calm. (Continue Reading)

  • Profile of a Former Foster Kid: Ashley Crossan has a bedroom in a non-profit housing project, and is determined to finish high school and find a job.

    This may not initially sound like the plot of a success story, but it is, compared to the outcomes for many other former foster children.

    Against all odds, 20-year-old Crossan is a resilient and determined young woman. (Continue Reading)

  • 10 Guidelines to Stopping Cyberbullying: Adults can teach kids critical skills for coping with online aggression. (Continue Reading)
  • Why Helping Traumatized Children Find the Right Words is So Important: Jane Evans, trauma parenting specialist and author of How Are You Feeling Today Baby Bear? writes about the importance of helping children who have experienced domestic abuse or other trauma to identify and talk about their feelings. (Continue Reading)

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

World Wide Wednesday, April 2, 2014

174337705It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

  • Parenting After Trauma: Understanding Your Child’s Needs: This guide for families explains how trauma can impact a child and provides tips for making them feel safe in their new home. Pediatricians can reproduce and provide this handout to foster and adoptive parents. (Also available in Spanish.)
  • Understanding Childhood Trauma: A one-page document that provides basic information about child trauma and the work of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
  • What is Child Sexual Abuse? A fact sheet developed by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), What Is Child Sexual Abuse?, highlights various forms of sexual victimization and their distinctive signs and symptoms. This fact sheet summarizes common behavioral red flags displayed by sexually abused children.
  • Top Adoption Books and Resources: A Not-To-Be-Missed List of Recommendations: In this list, you will find a wide variety of nonfiction books representing diverse views and perspectives on adoption – similar in style to the Portrait of an Adoption’s acclaimed annual series, 30 Adoption Portraits in 30 Days – with different titles geared toward adoptees, adoptive parents, birth parents, and foster parents. Given the vast majority of memoirs available from adoptive parents, the author avoided this genre in favor of research-based and prescriptive books, with only a few exceptions.  Although most of the titles are self-explanatory, she has included brief summaries that draw from the book covers, Amazon, published reviews, and the author’s own comments.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!

World Wide Wednesday – February 19, 2014

174337705It’s World Wide Wednesday! Here’s what’s happening the world of foster care and adoption around the web:

  • Adoption Institute Issues New Report on Adoption and the Internet: In December, the Donaldson Adoption Institute released Untangling the Web II: A Research-Based Roadmap for Reform, a second report in its study of the Internet’s impact on adoption. The report finds the Internet is being widely used in an array of positive ways, but also warns that it is contributing to the increasing commodification of children and commercialization by for-profit brokers, while enabling greater exploitation of pregnant women considering adoption for their babies and of adults seeking to adopt.
  • Voice for Adoption Reminds Parents and Youth to Fill Out Financial Aid Forms Early: As of January 1, students could begin submitting their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms for the 2014-2015 school year. Voice for Adoption worked closely with Congress to pass the Fostering Adoption to Further Student Achievement Act, which became law as an amendment to the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (Public Law 110-84).Effective in July 2009, a provision reduced the disincentive for older youth to be adopted by allowing them the same status as youth who age out of foster care. Under the law, youth who are adopted from foster care on or after their 13th birthday are considered “independent students” and do not have to include their parent’s income when completing the FAFSA form. (See question 53 on the FAFSA application.) Find a tip sheet from VFA here.
  • Big Lessons That Transcend the Movie: There Are Philomenas All Around Us: As I was leaving the theater over the weekend, after watching the mesmerizing movie “Philomena,” a couple of middle-aged women nearby were talking about how much they had learned from the film. “It’s awful what happened in Ireland back then,” one of them said. “I’d never known about it before.”

    What they learned, in a nutshell, was that girls and young women like the real-life Philomena – who got pregnant out of wedlock in that country during the 1950s – were frequently forced to work under brutal conditions in convent laundries as “penance” for their “sins.” And then their sons and daughters were routinely, mercilessly spirited away from them to be adopted by wealthy Americans, most if not all of whom showed their gratitude to the church with generous “donations.” Click here to continue reading this article from Adam Pertman.

  • Book Review: Lost Daughters – Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace: Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace gathers the well-articulated stories of around two dozen adult women who have been adopted. The stories shared are powerful and painful, open and honest, and realistically complex. No one is standing on a soapbox; these are real, lived experiences that the Lost Daughters continue to process, understand, and share. The book does not tell adoptees or adoptive parents how to feel, it simply believes that “the voices of adult adoptees make adoption better.”  Read more on the Adoption at the Movie blog here.

Have news you’d like to share? Please post in our comments!