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Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents Hardcover – May 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0944934296 ISBN-10: 0944934293 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Perspectives Pr; First Edition edition (May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0944934293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0944934296
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Proper attachment is the most fundamental issue in a successful adoption, but what exactly does the term mean? Attaching in Adoption answers that question thoroughly, and it provides solutions to a variety of specific attachment problems.

Along with technical explanations of challenges such as self-esteem, childhood grief, and limit-testing, the book includes a tremendous number of personal vignettes illustrating attachment-related situations. Parents who are convinced that only their child has ever behaved a certain way are sure to take comfort in these stories; not only do they include kids from all backgrounds and age groups, but each has an ultimately happy ending. The emotional health of the whole family is also paramount according to the book--with plenty of rest and "alone time," caregivers are more likely to be emotionally available when they are most needed.

Because Attaching in Adoption focuses on special needs, families who are coming together through foster programs, at later ages, or across cultural lines will find it especially helpful. Both psychologically detailed and straightforwardly helpful, it can be of equal benefit to counselors and parents alike. --Jill Lightner

From Publishers Weekly

Gray, a clinical social worker specializing in attachment, grief and trauma, has penned a comprehensive guidebook for adoptive parents, taking an in-depth look at how children and families adjust. The author notes that many of today's adoptions involve older children who may have been abused or neglected, or who may have spent years in institutions or various foster situations; due to their past experiences these children may have difficulty attaching to their adoptive parents. Explaining that attachment forms the template for future adult relationships, Gray stresses how important it is for adoptive parents to be patient in forging this new bond. She advises creating a high structure/ high nurture environment for the child, and instructs parents to find out about their child's background. The book covers many issues, including cross-cultural and interracial adoption, religious concerns and other complications for attaching, such as ADHD and learning disabilities. Gray also includes a detailed exploration of developmental delays common in kids who have been adopted later in life. While the book is densely written, it will nevertheless be invaluable for adoptive parents. Gray compassionately helps readers form realistic expectations, while offering a myriad of suggestions for families and children striving to form lasting, loving relationships.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Deborah Gray is the founder of Nurturing Attachments. She is a clinical social worker specializing in the areas of attachment, grief, and trauma. She has spent over 15,000 hours in the last 15 years counseling children who were adopted. Her private practice philosophy is one of empowering parents with information and techniques so that their skills and styles are used in meeting the needs of their children. Her passion is to help children and their families to develop close, satisfying relationships.

Deborah is a popular presenter due to her practical approaches of promoting attachment, shaping behavior, and working through trauma. She teaches in the Cascadia Resources/Northwest Adoption Resource and Portland State post-Graduate Programs in Adoption Counseling and the University of Washington's Post-Graduate Trauma Certificate program.

In her personal life, Deborah Gray feels linked to adoption through the
family in which she grew up. She has also been a therapeutic foster parent.
She received her graduate degrees from Syracuse University in 1981. She is
a licensed social worker in the State of Washington.

Deborah Gray is the author of numerous articles and the book Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents, published by Perspectives Press, Inc. in 2002.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone regarding adoption.
Crew S. Heimer
It helps a parent feel like they are not alone and helps them understand where the behaviors are coming from and puts it all into perspective.
T.C.
If you only plan to read one book about adoption, make it this one!
Corraleno

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

171 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Corraleno on May 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you only plan to read one book about adoption, make it this one! It covers pretty much everything you would need to know about the emotional impact of adoption, from infancy to adulthood. It is an intense book, both in terms of its emotional content (some of the case studies are heart-wrenching) and its depth of information. The author really knows her stuff, both from extensive reading of the research literature and from many years of personal experience as a therapist. She covers the various stages of attachment, what kids need to attach well, what happens when the process goes wrong, and what to do to help kids make healthy attachments to their new families. Even if you are adopting an infant and don't expect any problems, this book will help you make the attachment process as smooth as possible. There is also extensive discussion of the issues adoptive kids experience later on, such as the search for identity, fantasies about who their birth parents really were and whether they will be reunited, grief over losing parents, etc. It is ultimately a very positive book, demonstrating that even seriously damaged kids can work through their issues and become happy, well-adjusted adults, and anyone who had a rocky relationship with their own parents will probably find some surprising insights here -- poor attachment can happen in any family. Required reading!
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95 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia L. Lajoy on February 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the parent of 2 adopted children, one who attached easily and one who is proving to be more of a challenge, this book is one that I feel our agency should make required reading. It is not only for those parents of older adoptees, but I found much that was helpful for our 14 month old son. Beyond the obvious helpful ideas and explanations, this book served to help "normalize" this experience for me, and helped me feel less like we are living in our own little hell at the moment. Reading the real-life stories provided me with several "ahh haa" moments, and I now feel much better equipped to handle my son's behavior and understand this is more of a "Long Haul" than a "Quick Fix", but definitely something that can be worked with and helped. This book is very in-depth and comprehensive, and for someone who is at this moment dealing with a month worth of sleepless nights, tantrums, and constant pushing away I can't think of anything more valuable that I have found to help me through this.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a clinical psychologist who works with families and children. This is an excellent book for parents and professionals. The techniques are well grounded in research and sound developmental theory, but are also explained clearly and without lots of jargon. Excellent examples are used to illustrate points and techniques.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As the head of a large private practice counseling group, I read many books on many subjects, including RAD. This is simply the finest and most comprehesive book on attachment I have ever read. It is written by a professional with many years of experience, yet it is easy to read, even for the lay person.
The excellent professional reviews are correct, this book is essential to an understanding of this subject and will be helpful to both professional and parent.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ostyn on August 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading a 3 foot tall stack of books on adoption and attachment, I can unreservedly say the is the best of the lot. If you only have time to read one, make this one it. If after reading this one you still need ideas, see my other reviews for more great books.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By J. Atkinson on March 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is a MUST HAVE for anyone parenting a child, not only with attachment problems, but any child that has been neglected, abused or been in foster care. One chapter in particular has been a LIFESAVER for my family.

It lists the 7 stages of attachment that healthy kids go through. It give vignettes on kids in that stage. It gives parenting suggestions for parents in this stage, and a checklist to show when a child has mastered this stage and is ready to move on.

Our kids, in six months have made HUGE STRIDES with their attachment issues due ENTIRELY to this book. I used it to help them progress through the first two stages of attachment that were disrupted due to their foster placements. They are doing well and moving into stage 3.

EVERY ADOPTIVE PARENT OR PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENT OR FOSTER PARENT MUST READ THIS BOOK!!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
...this is the best book ever written on adoption related issues. This book is full of examples and helpful advice that parents can actually use. This is a must-read book for current or would-be adoptive parents.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald on September 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is important for parents who adopt older children with attachment problems, or who have biological children with such problems. Some clinicians believe that the attachment formed to the mother or to some other consistently present person tends to endure and implies the formation of intra-organismic structures that won't go away even under the impact of adverse conditions. (See Ainsworth, Mary D. Salter. "Object Relations, Dependency, and Attachment: A Theoretical Review of the Infant-Mother Relationship." Child Development 40 (1969): 969-1025). If this is true, then parents who face this dilemma can learn with Deborah Gray's help to understand and validate their children's rage and grief, and then try to help them with the therapeutic techniques that in Gray's experience promote attachment and increase the likelihood of success during the course of therapy.
Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?
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