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on May 25, 2002
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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on February 19, 2004
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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on January 7, 2004
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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on April 28, 2002
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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on August 15, 2005
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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on March 2, 2006
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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on September 10, 2003
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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on April 26, 2002
...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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on November 6, 2003
I feel so fortunate to have read this book. It covered all of the attachment topics covered in my Foster/Adoption training, but in much more detail and with specific recommendations for at home bonding techniques. The book is very negative, however. I wish the author had provided more positive examples of successful treatment outcomes. Read this book in small bits and keep thinking to yourself that children are resilant. Good luck.
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on May 17, 2002
Attaching In Adoption: Practical Tools For Today's Parents by attachment therapist Deborah Gray is a solid, practical, informational resource and reference for adoptive parents, particularly those who must help a young child adapt and cope with trauma, grief, or anxiety. Filled with examples, case studies, research, and useful advice, Attaching in Adoption is an excellent primer adoptive or would-be adoptive parents and a highly recommended addition to adoption agency and community library collections.
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