Adoption Options Resources

Adoption Options' social workers facilitate Birthparent Support Group meetings in Edmonton and Calgary to provide ongoing support for birthparents who have placed children in an open adoption. The group offers a safe, caring and confidential place to share stories, discuss issues unique to open adoption and celebrate adoption relationships in a supportive atmosphere. It is an open group allowing birthparents to attend as they desire. We encourage birthparents to join these meetings as a part of their healing process. There are no fees. 

Online Resources - Brenda Romanchik is a birthmother who has published some excellent information for all members of the adoption circle, including birthparents. Her website provides open adoption resources and support. - This Alberta government website provides resources, information and statistics about the different adoption processes available in Alberta. - Brenda McCreight, PhD, is a Canadian adoption expert, adoptive parent, professional social worker, counselor, published author and speaker. Her website provides information and resources for adoptive families and adoption professionals.

Recommended Books 

Books Recommended for Birthparents:

Birthmothers by Merry Block Jones.  Through interviews with over 30 birthmothers, the author gives a human face to birthmothers everywhere.

Dear Birthmother by Kathleen Silber.  This powerful book shares the realities of adoption, abolishes the myths and validates the journey of the birthmother.

My Child is a Mother: A true and happy story of open adoption by Mary Stephenson.  Karen was 17 when she learned she was pregnant.  This raw account of how Karen and her family moved forward during this crisis within their family.

Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers' stories by Mary Martin Mason.  This one of a kind book, profiles birthfathers and a variety of adoption experiences from their prospective.

Pregnant? Adoption is an Option: Adoption from the birthparents' perspective by Jeanne Warren Lindsay.  This book closely examines the emotional journey of choosing to place a child for adoption.

Books Recommended for Everyone:

Children of Open Adoption by Kathleen Silber and Patricia Martinez Dorner.  Two pioneers in the field of open adoption share adoption experiences and answer the question: What is the effect of open adoption on the children?

Difficult Conversations: How to discuss what matters most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen.  While this book is not specific to adoption, it is an outstanding read about healthy communication. This book will change the way you talk and, most importantly, listen to each other.

Getting Together: Building relationships as we negotiate by Roger Fisher and Scott Brown.  This book seems like it was tailor made for open adoptions. Gives those in open adoptions a framework for establishing complicated relationships.

Jessica Lost: A story of birth, adoption and the meaning of motherhood by Bunny Crumpacker and J.S. Picariello.  A mother and daughter, separated by adoption, reunite after four decades in this beautifully written memoir.

Open Adoption, Open Heart: An adoptive father’s inspiring journey by Russell Elkins.  This true story provides the reader with the emotions experienced by the adoptive parents throughout their journey to become parents.  It honours all members of the adoption triad in a well written personal account.

The Family of Adoption by Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao.  Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavao shares through stories with children and families, how adoptive parent, teachers, therapists and all who work with children must come to understand developmental stages as normal – challenging, but normal.  She provides a powerful argument for the right kind of ‘openness’ within adoptive families.

The Open Adoption Experience by Lois Melina and Sharon Kaplan-Roszia.  A complete guide for both birthfamilies and adoptive families.  Covers topics from “readiness for open adoption” to growing up in an open adoption.  Melina and Kaplan-Roszia are leaders in the field of adoption with a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.

The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption by Lori Holden with Crystal Hass. Lori Holden has been renowned with her parenting articles and blog.  Her journey to motherhood, dealing with fertility loss, adoption and parenting are all well documented and shared for others.  This book is written in collaboration with Crystal Hass, birthmother to Lori Holden’s daughter.  “More than a how-to, this book shares a mind-set, a heart-set, that can be learned and internalized so parents can choose to act out of love and honesty throughout their child’s growing-up years, helping that child to grow up whole.

The Spirit of Open Adoption by Jim Gritter.  Jim Gritter is a well established professional adoption practitioner who encourages a value-based model that focuses on the best interests of the child.  He provides an in-depth look into open adoption.

Books for Adoption Reunions / Searching:

For those placed or who placed in the traditional adoption system that was closed with no exchange of identifying information, there are many good books about searching and reunions.  Here are just a few…

Birth Bond: Reunions between birthparents and adoptees – What happens after… by Judith S. Gediman and Linda P. Brown.

Birthmark by Suzanne Benner.  The secrecy of her birth, leads Netalie to searching for answers in her quest to find her birthmother. 

Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents and Adoptive Parents by Jean A. S. Strauss.  What happens when an adoptee decides to locate a birthparent or a birthparent wants to find a child placed long ago.  How does one search for people whose names are unknown?

Gone to an Aunts: Remembering Canada’s homes for unwed mother’s by Anne Petrie.

Petals of my Heart: My adoption journey by Karyn E. Kunst.  A personal account of Karyn’s adoption journey and her reunion with her birthparents.

Stories of Adoption: Loss and reunion by Eric Blau.  This book provides a rare opportunity to share the inner feelings of adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents who experience reunions.

Books for Adoption Reunions / Searching:


Brain Based Parenting, the Neuroscience of Caregiving for Healthy Attachment by Daniel Hughes and Jonathon Baylin


Attachment Focused Parenting, Effective Strategies to Care for Children, by Daniel Hughes


Attachment Parenting by Arthur Becker-Weidman and Deborah Shell


Attaching in Adoption and Nurturing Attachments both by Deborah Gray


Born to Love, Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered by Dr. Bruce Perry


Open Wound – by Nancy Newton Verrier


Adoption:  Strong Choices, Strong Families by Patricia Irwin Johnson


The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child by Nancy Newton Verrier

Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft by Mary Hopkins-Best




The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering our Children by Shefali Tsabary


Out of Control:  Why Disciplining Your Child Doesn’t Work and What Will by Shefali Tsabary


Adoptive Parent Intentional Parent: A Formula for Building and Maintaining Your Child’s Safety Net by Stacy Manning


Hold Onto Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More by Dr. Gordon Neufeld


No Drama Discipline by Daniel Siegal,


Kids are Worth it by Barbara Coloroso


Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen


Parenting from the Inside Out – Dan Siegel


Healing from Hazardous Parenting: How to Fix Yourself When You Can’t Fix Your Kid! By Brenda McCreight


The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by Dr. Karen Purvis

Healing Power of Families: Richard Delaney


Inside Transracial Adoption by Beth Hall and Gail Steinberg

I’m Chocolate, You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious Work (A guide for Parents and Teachers) by Marguerite A. Wright

** Adoption Options offers a small selection of adoption related books for children and adults.