recommended reading

Below are  a few books and pdfs that we have found helpful. Adding them as we read them,
we have tried to integrate some adoption standards with some books on parenting that we think are useful in the context of adoption. We are always open to suggestions, so please do get in touch if you have ideas for more reading…

Some general stuff:

The AdoptionNorthLondon handbook has a wealth of information on all aspects of adoption. It is only available as a pdf, since the content will be updated regularly and each of the six NLAC LA’s update their own.

Jessica Kingsley Publishing specialises in the book on adoption and fostering, amongst other topics. They have put together this page with information about books on adoption and fostering, including a handy pdf. There are many key titles in there.

The ground breaking report Beyond the order is also worth reading in its entirity. It concerns research about the world post placement. It was written by Julie Selwyn, Dinithi Wijedasa, and Sarah Meakings, University of Bristol, and published in April 2014.

Some good starter books – not least for prospective adopters and relatives:

Many of the books on this page can be read at any stage. Take your lead from what you fancy.

However here are a few of the ones we wished we had read first:

Deborah Grey has written are ten solid tips to a good start in the first year of placement. A pdf link can be found here.


julia davis preparationWhy wont my child behavewholebrain child










hand in hand complete set

SD Unofficial guide

bryan post books

Donovan_No-Matter-What_978-1-84905-431-7_colourjpg-printraising ourselves

Attachment and Adoption Parenting:

       born for love Why wont my child behave  Creating loving attachments

attachment focused hughes    brain based parenting building bonds hughes

reparenting the child  first step hurt next step hurt 

book_why_was_I_adopted    story books for adopted children   real parents real children


The toddler and preschool years:
These are ten solid tips to a good start in the first year of placement.

toddler adopting      toddler calm

understanding your one year old julia davis preparation




School and the adopted child:

Pac has written and excellent report on  schools and the adopted child, a pdf of which can be found here.

Essex County Council have made a short and sweet, but no less useful, guide for parents and schools, which can be found here.


digital parenting    settling to learn facing facebook inside I am hurtingbubblewrapped children







Reading for transracial adoptions:

chocolate and vanilla    Mixed


General (adoption-friendly) Parenting:

Sunderland what every parentparenting inside outthe-gardener-and-the-carpenter
wholebrain childbryan post booksno drama discipline

roughhousing   playful parenting

peaceful parent happy kids        how to talk so kids will listen    


raise the child you got

why love matters raising ourselves



janet lansbury 2
no bad kids lansburywhat mothers do
Susan hart and dorte silver introSusan hart impact


hand in hand complete set








5 thoughts on “recommended reading

  1. Thanks, Emma of South London. It is great to know that you appreciate what we have posted here! This whole site and our vision is based on what we missed when we became parents.
    As for the reading then we have tried to integrate books on adoption with more mainstream books on parenting that are applicable to adoption (which many of course aren’t).
    Best wishes to you and yours too. 😉

  2. Thanks for the list of books. Some I haven’t heard of but will be checking out. I’d also like to add one that I am reading at the moment and finding really useful. “Why can’t my child behave? Empathic parenting strategies that work for adoptive and foster families” by Dr Amber Elliott. Very similar to ideas of Dan Hughes but I find her writing more accessible and there are lots of practical strategies to try out. Keep up the great work at We are Family. xx

    • Thank you, Eileen. That very book is on my night table! Now I will look even more forward to reading it. But perhaps I won’t wait till I have finished it to add it to the list. 🙂

  3. I found ‘Big Steps for Little peopl’e by Celia Foster an absolute gem. It was recommended by another adopter and I cannot thank her enough. I have applied some of the strategies and find that it works and am continually dipping into it for the practical ideas to help me through albeit I have adapted some to suit my situation.

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