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33 Reviews
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good solid information, very practical book
This book covers a lot of ground about adoption and really gets into the thoughts of the adoptee and the adopting parents. The sections on Talking about Adoption and Bonding & Attachment are quite good. This edition also contains an updated section on International Adoption which is quite helpful.
More importantly, the back of the book is full of resources...
Published on July 30, 1999 by Jeffrey T. Saathoff

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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informational, Yet Flawed
I agree with the two reviwers who said that this book assumes that all people who adopt are unable to conceive, and that the book is overly "PC". In regards to infertility, the book really does heap it on about how people who can't conceive need to grieve, and may think that they won't be able to love another's child, and so on. We're not infertile, but I would be just as...
Published on October 13, 2005 by Robyn Chittister


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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good solid information, very practical book, July 30, 1999
This book covers a lot of ground about adoption and really gets into the thoughts of the adoptee and the adopting parents. The sections on Talking about Adoption and Bonding & Attachment are quite good. This edition also contains an updated section on International Adoption which is quite helpful.
More importantly, the back of the book is full of resources and references that you can use for follow-up information.
The only thing that kept this from being 5 stars is that it takes a lot of effort to read the whole thing. Many of the ideas are reinforced over and over again, which is good, but can really sap the reader.
Great job overall though.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book!, September 6, 2002
By A Customer
This book was part of our required reading for our home study. After reading some of the poor reviews I wasn't looking forward to reading it. Once I started reading it I couldn't believe how much information was is in this book. This book can certainly help you decide which adoption route is for you. It explains the adopted child's emotions from infant to teen and how to handle them. It explains the different issues you may be faced with in domestic, international, infant, older child, inter-racial, and special needs adoptions. Helpful hints regarding how different countries may cared for your child which may explain why what you're doing isn't working. How long it may take for an infant to adjust to your time zone. It even tells you how to respond to those rude or nosy questions/comments from your friends, family, co-workers,and strangers! This is a great book to read no matter where you are in the adoption process from just thinking about it to completed it!
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informational, Yet Flawed, October 13, 2005
I agree with the two reviwers who said that this book assumes that all people who adopt are unable to conceive, and that the book is overly "PC". In regards to infertility, the book really does heap it on about how people who can't conceive need to grieve, and may think that they won't be able to love another's child, and so on. We're not infertile, but I would be just as offended if I were. Infertility and adoption do not always go hand in hand, and I think that Melina forgets that.

I also found the writing to be hyperbolic, as in "You MUST" do this, or, my favorite "All adoptive parents" fear that their children will love their birthparents more than the adoptive parents. Use of such imperatives, "All," "must," "will," instead of more realistic words like "Many," "should/need," and "might," makes the text sound like a user's manual for computer applications.

That negative said, the book itself does contain a lot of useful information, which I haven't seen in any of my previous adoption-related readings. I would absolutely recommend it to people who are going through the adoption process. I think there are better books for people who are wondering whether or not to adopt (such as "Is Adoption for You?"), but that this book directly addresses the fears and questions for people who are about to become adoptive parents.
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, reassuring advice for every adoptive parent., June 26, 1998
By A Customer
As a new adoptive parent in 1980, I wanted to know what I could expect. The traditional sources of child care information were not useful to me. They talked about the importance of natural childbirth and breastfeeding to bonding and attachment, but didn't talk about how to breastfeed an adopted child or how a child not born to his parents would grow to love them. I wrote the first edition of "Raising Adopted Children" to let parents know what to expect from the time they took their child home until the time that child leaves home. This new edition of "Raising Adopted Children" reflects changes in adoption over the past 12 years, including the increase in adoptions from China and Eastern Europe and the unique issues arising from those situations. It incorporates the most recent research into various aspects of adoption, including the psychological impact of adoption, and the outcomes for children from orphanages and children who were prenatally exposed to drugs, as well as for children adopted as healthy infants. In addition to 12 more years of research, this book reflects 12 more years of personal experience. My children, just preschoolers when I wrote the first edition, are now 15 and 18. My oldest is leaving home to attend college and my youngest is beginning the quest for identity and independence. I believe I can reassure adoptive parents that the satisfaction of being an adoptive parent continues and the deep love we feel for our children grows.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Gift Anyone Considering Adoption Can Give Themself!, December 5, 2003
By 
Amy A Adams (Manassas, Va United States) - See all my reviews
This is the first book on adoption I read, as we prepared for our adoption classes, and it will be kept in our home as a reference for many years to come. This book effectively explains adoption terms, conditions, and issues in an easy to understand and non-condescending way. It helped my husband to understand some mixed feelings I had about adoption as opposed to conception. It addresses attachment, authority, and smooth transition. My only complaint is I wish it had focused more on older adoptions instead of infant adoptions, but then, this book is more of a broad-range reference and therefore has to cover a lot of ground. A must read for anyone considering adoption!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The more things change, February 1, 2008
Be fair. Social conventions have changed markedly in the 20-plus years since this book was first published. So it's natural that the author would not have written all her chapters in quite the same voice she might have used in a new book, issued in 2008.

Despite its age and shortcomings, however, this book has numerous useful sections from which adoptive parents (and ultimately, their children) can benefit.

The chapter on Attachment, for example, is quite interesting and helpful--particularly considering the medical community's lack of awareness on attachment disorder, which frequently affects adopted children. As noted here, "both learning disabilities and conduct disorders can be signs of an unattached child," as can short attention span and poor impulse control. To this day, many psychologists are unaware of these basic facts. This book can help bring them up to speed.

Another beneficial chapter is "Talking with Children About Adoption." Citing adoption expert Betty Jean Lifton, the book notes, "instead of worrying about the right time to start talking about adoption, parents should be concerned about setting the right tone." Allow the adopted child to express his or her doubts, fears, questions and fantasies. Sympathize, listen, let the child express their grief, and redirect their fantasies when they are completely off track.

If the child thinks their birth parent lived in a castle and rejected them for their looks, obviously they need more information about the true circumstances. Parents can say, (for example) "We don't know much. But we do know your birth parents were young, and could not keep you safe."

There are also excellent details about medical histories, and what to do in the cases of suspected mental or genetic disorders in the biological families. These problems can be detected, and treated.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worth skimming not reading, June 9, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Deep into the adoption process we are hungry for information on what our adventure in child-rearing will be like because of going with an adopted child. If you are in that position this book is worth skimming but not worth reading. It is a very dry book which would work better as a website where key topics are identified and you can skip to the parts of interest to you. Or rewrite it as a simple list of topics with 2 sentences under each ("oh I wonder how my adopted kids will react to X").

Reading this book from cover to cover, on the other hand, will leave you feeling like every aspect of life is a potential threat to the mental health of your child. It took all my strength not to throw the book in the trash when the authors talked about the issues the adopted child might have dealing with seeing the baby Jesus at Christmas time. There is a point where simply outlining every possible source of stress may not be helpful. This book likely reaches that point. It's not that these things can't possibly be stressful but it feels like this book may be giving equal weight to every possibility. In many cases it feels like what is being shared are merely anecdotes which feel as solid as if a coworker said, "I heard on the internet that...."

The book is probably good to have around during stressful times when you might want to find, in writing, proof that others have had these issues, too. And for that reason I can't be too critical of the book. It's reference pages also are very good. But this is a text not a book- a collection of thoughts rather than a well thought out guide for parents.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, January 24, 2001
By A Customer
I am currently in the process of adpoting a child from Korea and this was one of the best books I read -- it is definitely on my "top 5 books for adoptive parents."
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising Adopted Children by Melina, September 15, 2003
This is a complete work for couples or individuals planning
to adopt children over the long term. The book provides a
guided research through the various child development stages
which include adjustment to a new family, bonding, open adoption, cultural identity and special situations.
The author describes the need to have realistic expectations.
The work is a "must read" for anyone planning to adopt
a child or multiple children. The book outlines the
typical problems encountered and various alternatives to
managing the stresses of the adoption process.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for preadoptive parents, yet a bit unrealistic, November 25, 2003
By 
luvmylilgirl (Eastern Washington) - See all my reviews
Most of the information in this book is very helpful and thought provoking. She used research from many sources, which I found to be very helpful since there is so much to consider with adoption decisions. I can appreciate her advice on communicating to the child about adoption, and do agree with most of it; however, I disagree with the ages that she suggests to bring up certain topics. She seems to give the idea that small children are capable of understanding adult issues. Everything else is great and I would highly recommend reading this book.
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