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Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Revised edition (July 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060957174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060957179
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Some people may describe adoption as difficult; others simply describe it as different. I am inclined to think of it as complex," writes Lois Ruskai Melina in the updated, revised Raising Adopted Children: Practical, Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent.

Adoption practices have evolved considerably since this book's first publication in 1986, and the new version of the "Dr. Spock for adoptive parents" reflects the latest theories. Drawing on the findings and practices of pediatricians, social workers, scientists, and adoptive parents, Raising Adopted Children is carefully and thoroughly researched. Chapters on open adoption, international adoption, and transracial adoption are combined with advice on bonding and attachment, breast-feeding an adoptive infant (possible but complicated), dealing with schools, privacy issues, adopting a child with disabilities, adopting as a single parent, and the challenges of adolescence. While Melina's many years of professional and personal experience shape her advice, she remains very evenhanded. For example, she's a strong proponent of the "early telling" theory of adoption (being open about the adoption with the child from the beginning), but she also clearly presents other points of view, and, throughout the book, encourages parents to make decisions that feel right for them.

The text includes specific suggestions for explaining a child's birth circumstances, including common misconceptions, and a valuable discussion about whether adoptees are at greater risk for behavior problems or learning disabilities. She also provides suggestions for setting rules for contact with biological parents, easing grief, and acknowledging a child's history. A completely annotated list of selected references and resources rounds out this superior guide. --Ericka Lutz

From Library Journal

In this comprehensive exploration of adoption issues (bonding and attachment, family adjustment, contact with biological relatives, etc.), the authoran adoptive parent and the editor of Adopted Child newsletteraims for a wide audience: parents, adoptees, and related professionals. Unfortunately, instead of including personal experiences, she takes a plodding though informative textbook approach that combines practical advice (making "Life books") with controversial suggestions (using "Toughlove" for discipline). Still, this is a helpful parenting guide that complements Edmund Blair Bolles's The Penguin Adoption Handbook ( LJ 4/15/84) and Lois Gilman's The Adoption Resource Book ( LJ 3/1/85). Janice Arenofsky, formerly with Arizona State Lib., Phoenix
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

And for that reason I can't be too critical of the book.
W. Hecht
The book continued with practical advice about some of the challenges all adoptive parents will face, as well as a definition of bonding vs. attachment.
Rizzo
The work is a "must read" for anyone planning to adopt a child or multiple children.
Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey T. Saathoff on July 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on September 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
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 By Robyn Chittister on October 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on June 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
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 By Amy A Adams on December 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
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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