You don’t have to be a fan of books to enjoy reading. It has been shown to relax our bodies and calm our minds, which is something we could all use right now. It’s also a great way to think about yourself or start meaningful conversations with your friends and family. We’ve put together a list of 13 books that talk about foster care and adoption from the point of view of adoptees, adoptive parents, and adoption professionals.
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
During the 1980s, Nicole Chung was given away by her Korean parents so that a white family could raise her. She was raised by this white family in a safe town in Oregon. A lot of questions started to arise for Chung when she was a child. Was the neatly told story about her adoption really the whole truth? An important book for anyone who has ever tried to figure out where they fit in. All You Can Ever Know is a moving account of surprising connections and the consequences of uncovering painful family secrets.
Black Is the Body by Emily Bernard
As a memoir, Black Is the Body looks at race with bravery and honesty. It’s written by someone who has great writing skills. Twelve deeply personal essays by Bernard show how complicated and haunting it is to be black in the South with a family name that comes from a white man, get a PhD from Yale, marry a white man from the North, adopt two Ethiopian babies, live and teach in a mostly white New England college town, and so on. Each of these essays is trying to find a new way to talk about race and to tell the truth as the author has lived it.
Jennifer by Nandita Puri
It is a heart-wrenching story of courage and survival that will stay with you for a long time. Jennifer: One Woman, Two Continents, and a Truth Called Child Trafficking When eight-year-old Jennifer “Pinky” Francis steps on to American soil for the first time, she doesn’t know how her life will change. After being illegally brought into the United States as an adopted child by the people who had been looking after her, Jennifer finds herself in a new country where she is forced into a world of sexual abuse, drugs, and crime. Jennifer is not only an example of the millions of illegal inter-country adoptees, but also of the pain that people go through in their lives.
Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin
As the book Motherhood So White explains, this is the story of Nefertiti Austin’s struggle to find what she always wanted in a family. It also tells the story of motherhood all American families need right now. When Austin talks about her parenting journey, she doesn’t hold back. She looks at the history of adoption in the African American community and challenges stereotypes about single, Black mothers. She also talks about raising children of color in racially charged, modern-day America.
Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption by Vanessa McGrady
Vanessa McGrady had been waiting for two years to adopt a child, slogging through paperwork and going back and forth between hope and despair. Finally, a miracle happened. Grace was a dream come true for her. Vanessa then made a very unusual move: when Grace’s biological parents were living on the streets, Vanessa let them stay at her house. Vanessa wrote Rock Needs River with wit, honesty, and compassion. It’s a love letter to her daughter, and it shows how we all need to connect.
Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter
Nine years of her life were spent in 14 different foster homes. The relationship Ashley has with her mother isn’t always stable, and it’s breaking down all the time. At the same time, Ashley is getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system. Ashley’s painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly fade away as she is juggled by caseworkers and shuffled between schools. She is also humiliated and manipulated by her very abusive foster family. In this moving memoir, Ashley finds her voice and the strength to move forward.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
You can read this New York Times bestseller in Shaker Heights, a progressive suburb of Cleveland, where every detail has been thought through. The roads are curved, and each house has a different color and pattern. When an affluent white family tries to adopt a Chinese American child, a custody battle breaks the town apart. There are a lot of important questions about motherhood, transracial adoption, and who you are in the usually quiet town.
The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand
The How and the Why is a heartfelt young adult book that talks about family and how they connect. Cassandra McMurtrey is the main character in the story. She has the best parents a girl could ask for, in every way. She wouldn’t change her life for the world. Cassandra is an adoptee, which means she doesn’t know much about her birth family. She wants to learn more about who she is and where she came from.
Two Dads: A Book About Adoption by Carolyn Robertson
Two Dads is a story about having two dads that is both beautiful and positive. To show how beautiful all families are, this book was written by a family’s adopted child. It has heartwarming illustrations and fun rhymes to show how lovely they all are. A great gift for the young reader in your life!
In on It by Elisabeth O’Toole
In On It: What Adoptive Parents Want You To Know About Adoption, a book written by adoptive parents, it’s called “the adoption book for everyone else.” This includes grandparents, friends, neighbors, aunts and uncles, teachers, and caregivers of adoptive families, as well as their teachers and caregivers. The book is full of advice and stories from adoptive parents, adult adoptees, adoption professionals, and the friends and relatives of adoptive families who have already been through the process.
Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency by Sharon Roszia & Allison Maxon
For a long time, the authors’ Seven Core Issues in Adoption have been helping adoptive parents learn about and deal with them. This book, which has been a long time coming, talks about the Seven Core Issues in Adoption, which are loss, rejection, shame/guilt, grief, identity, intimacy, and mastery/control. Essential: This guide covers adoption, foster care, kinship care, donor insemination, and surrogacy. It also covers adoption, foster care, kinship care, donor insemination, and surrogacy.
The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler
Ann Fessler has written a deeply moving book about the million and a half women who gave up their children for adoption because of huge family and social pressures. She does this for the first time. More than a hundred women’s voices and the spirit of those times are brought to life by Fessler in a way that makes the stories gripping and intimate. The women can tell their stories in detail that makes them seem real and real. This book is a thoughtful look at how adoption used to be done and why the move to be more open has been so important.
The Harris Narratives by Susan Harris O’Connor
When Susan Harris O’Connor was a child, she was adopted from one country to another. She is a social worker and a transracial adoptee. She wrote five autobiographical stories in the book The Harris Narratives: A Transracial Adoption Study. There have been many people who have been impressed with these monologues over the last 16 years. They were written for academic and clinical, and child welfare settings, and they have been performed all over the country. Author: In her stories, she talks about how being in foster care for the first 14 months of her life, having an unknown birth father, and growing up in white communities affected her. She also talks about how race and racism play a role for transracial adoptees who grow up in white communities and how they develop racial identities.