Suggested reading list

There are many useful adoption resources available. Here we list books covering the different stages of your adoption journey. Many have been recommended by the professionals we work with, or through adopter-led support groups, or by our team members.

If you have any further suggestions please do let us know. You can also find reviews of several books under our ‘news’.

There is a huge amount of information about adoption and we feel that reading and research is vital to help you decide if adoption is right you.

Suggested books to read during Stage 1

  • The Adopters Handbook.  A. Salter.  2013
  • Adopting a child.  J. Lord.  2013
  • What to expect when you’re adopting.  Dr Ian Palmer.  2009
  • No Matter What.  Sally Donovan.  2013
  • A Pink Guide to Adoption.  Nicola Hill.  2012
  • Approaching Fatherhood.  P. May.  2005
  • Flying Solo.  Julia Wise.  2007
  • Loving and living with traumatised children.  Megan Hirst.  2005
  • The Colours in Me.  Perlita Harris.  2008
  • What every parent needs to know. Margot Sutherland 2016
  • Therapeutic parenting in a nutshell. Sarah Naish 2018
  • Why are these children any different? Helen Oakwater (PDF)
  • AdoptyMum: A Survival Guide To Life With Adopted Kids.  Elena Holmes 2019

Suggested books to read during Stage 2

  • The A-Z of Therapeutic Parenting: Strategies and Solutions. Sarah Naish  2018
  • The Unofficial Guide to Therapeutic Parenting for Childhood Aggression and Violence. Sally Donovan and Carly Kingswood. 2023
  • Why Love Matters.  Sue Gerhardt.  2005
  • The Primal Wound.  Nancy Barrier.  2009
  • The Connected Child.  Karyn Purvis. 2005
  • The Whole Brain Child.  Dan Siegel.  2012
  • Unconditional Parenting.  Alfie Khon.  2006
  • Attaching in Adoption.  Deborah Gray.  2012
  • Attaching through love, hugs and play.  Deborah Gray.  2014
  • Creating Loving Attachments.  Kim Golding / Dan Hughes.  2012
  • New Families, Old Scripts.  Burnell, Archer and Gordon.  2006
  • Big Steps for Little Children.  Celia Foley.  2008
  • Preparing for Adoption.  Julie Davis.  2014
  • The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting.  Sally Donovan.  November 2014
  • Preparing for Adoption.  A guide to introductions and the first few weeks.  Julie Davis.  2014
  • Parenting from the inside out.  Dan Siegel.  2013
  • Born for Love.  Bruce Perry.  2011
  • Parenting A Child with emotional and behavioural difficulties.  Dan Hughes.  2012
  • Building the Bonds of Attachment.  Dan Hughes.  2006
  • A child’s journey through Placement.  Vera Fahlberg.  2008
  • The simple guide to childhood trauma. Betsy Thierry 2016
  • The Simple Guide to Understanding Shame in Children: What It Is, What Helps and How to Prevent Further Stress or Trauma.  Betsy de Thierry. 2018
  • Anchored. Deb Dana
  • The Pocket Guide to Polyvagal Theory; the transformative power of feeling safe. Stephen W. Porges
  • How to do the Work. Dr Nicole LePera
  • It’s Not Always Depression. Hilary Jacobs Hendel
  • The Body Keeps Score. Bessel van der Kolk
  • The Body Says No. Gabore Mate

Suggested books for friends and relatives

  • Related by Adoption.  Heidi Argent.  2014
  • No Matter What.  Sally Donovan.  2013
  • Before I arrive.  H. Townsend.  2013
  • Adoption is a Family Affair.  Irwin Johnson.  2012
  • An Adoption Guide for Grandparents by Nanja (PDF)

For families who have birth or previously adopted children

  • Adopting Alfred.  Emma Lovelace. 2023
  • Welcoming a New Brother or Sister through adoption.  Arletta James.  2013 (for adults)
  • The Kite’s Tale.  Molly Ashton.  2020

Children’s books

Younger children

  • Eddy Finds a Family. Sarah McGeough 2020
  • I Wished for You: An Adoption Story. Marianne Richmond, Marianne Richmond Studios. 2008 – follows a conversation between Barley Bear and his Mama as they curl up in their favourite cuddle spot and discuss how they became a family. Barley asked Mama the questions many adopted children have, and Mama lovingly answers them all.
  • We belong together.  Todd Parr.  2008
  • It’s O.K to be different.  Todd Parr.  2009
  • My New Family.  Pat Thomas.  2003
  • Murphy’s three homes.  Jan Levinson Gilman.  2009
  • William Wobbly and Sophie Spikey. 2016
  • The Blanket Bears. Samuel Langley-Swain.  2019
  • A Shelter for Sadness.  Anne Booth. 2021
  • The Very Wobbly Christmas: A story to help children who feel anxious about Christmas. Sarah Naish 2018

Mixed age range

  • In My Own Words. Lillybelle Keating. 2022
  • Nutmeg Gets Adopted. Judith Foxon, BAAF. 2001. Full colour illustrated story about a little squirrel who gets adopted when his birth mother is unable to keep him and his siblings safe. A set of practice guidelines accompanying this story will help parents and professionals working with children who may be bewildered, upset and angry, to come to terms with their family situation and adjust to a new life.
  • Zachary’s new home.  Geraldine and Paul Blomquist.  1990
  • Before I arrive.  H. Townsend.  2013
  • The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Story. Grace Kin, Albert Whitman and Company. 2007 – A children’s story based on an ancient Chinese belief that are invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together.
  • Oh brother! Tom Gets a New Adopted Brother (Claire Friday, Adoption UK, 2005) – Aimed at children aged between 7 to 11 years, this book tells the story of a single birth child whose parent decides to adopt another child.
  • Locked Out: A book for children with a loved one in prison. PACT

Suggested books beyond adoption approval

  • From Fear to Love.  Bruce Perry.  2011
  • Brain Storm.  Dan Siegel.  2014
  • Playful parenting.  Lawrence Cohen.  2012
  • The Myth of the Spoiled Child.  Alfie Khon.  2014
  • Toddle Adoption – The Weaver’s Craft.  Mary Hopkins.  2012
  • Attachment in Common Sense and Doodles.  Miriam Silver. 2013
  • Wounded children, healing homes.  Jayne E Schooler.  2010
  • When Love is not enough.  Nancy Thomas.  2008
  • Why can’t my child behave?  Amber Elliot.  2013
  • How to talk so children listen and listen, so children talk.  Elaine Mazlish and Adele Faber.  2013
  • Attachment, Trauma and Resilience: Therapeutic caring for children.  2002
  • Creative coping skills for children.  Bonnie Thomas 2009
  • Reparenting the child who hurts.  Caroline Archer and Christine Gordon.  2012
  • How to get kids offline, outdoors and connecting with nature.  Bonnie Thomas.  2014
  • Talking to your child about adoption.  Prue Chennells and Marjorie Morrison.  2004
  • Bubble wrapped children. Helen Oakwater.  2012
  • The Great Big Book of Families – Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith.  2010
  • The Great Big Book of Feelings – Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith 2013
  • A five is against the law! Social Boundaries: Straight up! An honest Guide for Teens and Young adults  – Kari Dunn Buron 2007
  • Parenting with Theraplay: Understanding Attachment and How to Nurture a Closer Relationship with Your Child – Helen Rodwell and Vivien Norris. 2017
  • Signs of Developmental Trauma at Home and School. Beacon House (PDF)

Suggested reading about education issues – can be shared with schools and teachers

  • A-Z of Trauma-Informed Teaching: Strategies and Solutions to Help with Behaviour and Support for Children Aged 3-11. Sarah Naish. 2023
  • Working with Relational Trauma in Schools – an educator’s guide to using Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Kim S Golding, Sian Phillips, Louise Michelle Bomber 2020
  • Inside I’m hurting.  Louise Michelle Bomber.  2007
  • What about me.  Louise Michelle Bomber.  2011
  • Attachment in the classroom.  Heather Geddes.  2005
  • Teach to inspire better behaviour.  Su Gott.  2011

Some suggestions for books about children, and in some cases for children

  • Without you.  Tamar Granot.  2004 – Children growing up with loss and its effects.
  • A safe place for Caleb.  K Chara and Paul Chara.  2005 – Interactive book about impacts of early trauma on it on attachment etc. for adolescents, adults and can be used with the younger children.
  • A Terrible thing happened.  Margaret Holmes.  2000
  • My Name is Why. Lemn Sissay 2020
  • The Mulberry Bird.  Brodinsky.  2013