Adoption Options Resources

Adoptive Parent Group Meetings: The Adoptive Parent Group is an open, ongoing and supportive group facilitated by an Adoption Options' social worker and open to our adoptive parents and waiting couples. You may attend all meetings or the ones of your choosing. The group format includes a combination of open discussion, specified topics, meetings in partnership with birthmothers, guest speakers as well as social meetings.

Recommended Reading: There are many good books out there about for adoptive parents and their children, as well as for birthparents and adoptees. Scoll down this page to see a list of some of the books that we recommend. 

Online Resources - General Adoption

  • The Adoption Council of Canada – yes we do have a national adoption organization which is doing some good work. Check it out.

  • This is a very commercial site in the USA but it may have things of interest for you.

  • Another commercial US site that has something for everyone - expectant parents, adopting parents, searchers. There are chat rooms and forums and other features.

  • The Evan B. Donaldson Institute for Adoption – doing some excellent current research in adoption. Visit their website to subscribe to their free e-newsletter.

  • Very interesting site providing courses for adoptive parents on topics like attachment, talking about adoption, transracial, international, etc. Courses are free but completion certificates available for $25.

  • Adoptive Families Association of British Columbia – excellent articles on line.

  • Canada Adopts offers an open adoption profile service. The website has information and articles on adoption.

  • A great site to find all the adoption resources in Canada, agencies, governments, international facilitators, support groups, etc.

  • Sharon Kaplan Roszia’s agency in California.

  • The North American Council on Adoptable Children – this organization hosts a terrific annual Training Conference, promotes the adoption of waiting children, can give you info about subsidy, advocacy, etc.

  • Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families. (Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.)

  • Great information on trans-racial adoption.

 Online Publications

Resources for International Adoption

Waiting Children 

Infertility Support  The Infertility Connection of Edmonton is a support group that meets regularly to provide support to couples who are experiencing infertility. Coming to the support group allows people to share their experiences and listen to other infertility stories realizing that they are not alone. 

Recommended Books 

Recommended Books 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, than 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.

For Adoptive Parents –

Adoption Without Fear, Ed. by Jim Gritter.  Seventeen adoptive couples describe their experiences with open adoption. Must read for anyone touched by adoption, it is particularly helpful for prospective adoptive couples just beginning the process.

Kids are worth it! : Giving your child the gift of inner discipline by Barbara Coloroso This national best seller, provides parents with tangible methods and approaches in raising self-assured, responsible, and loving children.

Parenting your Adopted Older Child by Brenda McCreight, Ph.D.  How to overcome the unique challenges and raise a happy and healthy child.  This practical book is a must read for any parent who is considering adopting an older child.

Raising Adopted Children by Lois Ruskai Melina Practical and reassuring advice for every adoptive parent.  This book covers topics of international adoption, open adoption, attachment and bonding, and answers parents’ most frequently asked questions.

Recognizing and Managing Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome / Fetal Alcohol Effects: A Guidebook by Brenda McCreight.  For any parent or professional working with children exposed prenatally, this guide offers practical advice and information on dealing with FASD.

Toddler Adoption by Mary Hopkins-Best.  This is a must read if you are considering the adoption of a toddler.

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wished Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge. The voices of children who joined their family through adoption are poignant, questioning.  And they tell a familiar story of loss, fear, and hope. This extraordinary book, written by a woman who was adopted herself, gives voice to children's unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.

Fertility loss –

Silent Sorority: A (Barren) Woman Gets Busy, Angry, Lost and Found by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos. Silent Sorority examines a seldom acknowledged outcome and raises provocative, often uncomfortable questions usually reserved for late night reflection or anonymous blogging. Outside of the physical reckoning there lies the challenge of moving forward in a society that doesn't know how to handle the awkwardness of infertility.

Songs I would have sung, Letters I would have written, Dreams I now have Realized: A Memoir of Pregnancy Loss, Adoption and Birth by Jayne H. Easley. Jayne H. Easley is a school psychologist and has dealt with a variety of grief issues in her profession. Her own journey to parenthood spanned a range of emotions from wrenching loss to immeasurable joy.

Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility by Janet Jaffe Ph.D, Martha Diamond Ph.D, and David Diamond Ph.D. With insight and compassion, Drs. Janet Jaffe, Martha Diamond, and David Diamond-specialists in the field of Reproductive Psychology who have each experienced their own struggle with infertility-give couples tools to deal with their grief. 

For Children -

Beginnings: How Families Come to Be by Virginia Kroll.  This is an excellent book to begin discussion about adoption and the different ways that families are formed.

Did My First Mother Love Me? by Kathryn Ann Miller. When young Morgan asks, "Did my first mother love me?" her adoptive mother reads her a letter written by Morgan’s birth mother. This birth mother’s love, concern, and caring for her child come through loud and clear as she explains the kind of life she wants for her child. Sadly, she explains, she cannot provide that life for her child, so she has given her a different set of parents. “My dearest child, to your parents I have given the precious gift of you,” she writes. A reassuring story, this book can be adapted to the reader’s family situation.

Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears.  Another wonderful book to have and share.

Pugnose Has Two Special Families by Karis Kruzel.  This 16-page, full-colour children’s book tells the story of Pugnose, an adopted mouse. This story will help you and your children explore their feelings about open adoption.

Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis.  One of our favourites!

The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart.  A lovely book for any family joined through open adoption.  It is shared from a birthmother to her child and talks of the love birthparents have for their children in placing them with their forever parents, the adoptive parents. 

Adoptive families are Families for Keeps by Lissa Cowan After living with three foster families, Tara is ready to be adopted. Children will follow Tara on her journey from foster care to adoption through a series of activities and a touching story. This colouring book provides an ideal environment and opportunity for a child to engage in interesting and non-threatening activities that will also help focus his or her thoughts about the pending or recently completed adoption. 

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn Chester Raccoon and his mother - and the ways love works to reassure us and give us strength in a sometimes scary world - are the focus of this beautifully written and illustrated children’s book.

For Adoptees –

Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self by David Brodzinsky.  This book highlights common experiences and developmental milestones of a person who joins their family through adoption.

In Their Own Voices: Tranracial Adoptees Tell their stories by Rita J. Simon and Rhonda M. Roorda.  How being adopted into a transracial family impacted their lives through childhood and into adulthood?  How did their family experience influence their racial and social identities, their choice of friends and marital partners, and their lifestyles?

Letters to my Birthmother: An Adoptee’s Diary of her search for her identity by Amy E. Dean.  Like many adoptees, Amy struggled for years with her decision to search for her birthparents.  This is personal account of this journey. 

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.

Questions Adoptees are Asking by Sherrie Eldrige.  For five years, twenty life-transforming choices adoptees need to make has impacted the lives of adoptees and their families.  This updated edition goes deeper with study question for support groups or personal use. 

Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wished Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge. The voices of children who joined their family through adoption are poignant, questioning.  And they tell a familiar story of loss, fear, and hope. This extraordinary book, written by a woman who was adopted herself, gives voice to children's unspoken concerns, and shows adoptive parents how to free their kids from feelings of fear, abandonment, and shame.

For International Adoption (many appropriate for all adoptions) –


       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 by Deborah Gray

       Nurturing Attachments by Deborah Gray

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


      Adopting: Sound 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 Than Peers 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 by 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 by Richard Delaney

Transracial Adoption:

      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

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 Afterby 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 and 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.