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Adopting: Sound Choices, Strong Families

by Patricia Irwin Johnston (Perspectives Press; $26.95)

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In Adopting: Sound Choices, Strong Families (Perspectives Press; $26.95), her newest addition to adoption literature, Patricia Irwin Johnston tackles the tough questions prospective parents must ask before deciding whether adoption is right for them.

This informative, densely packed book guides those who are married, single, gay, or lesbian through four distinct phases of thinking about adoption. The first is about resolving personal issues, including infertility, before deciding to adopt. The second is about understanding that raising a family formed by adoption is inherently different from raising a biological family. The third is about making educated choices about the type of adoption to pursue. The final phase is understanding what will happen during the adoption process and after the child arrives.

Adopting: Sound Choices, Strong Families is not a how-to guide for adoption, but it compiles the wisdom Johnston has accumulated in her 30 years of experience. With real-life vignettes and ample resources in each chapter, the book is a must-read for those who are just beginning to think about adoption, or who are in the early stages of the process. It will help parents navigate the emotional and practical aspects of an adoption, and help them understand that adoption is a lifelong issue for children, parents, and extended family alike.

Reviewed by Sue Gainor, who serves on the national board of Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption (FRUA). She lives with her family in the Washington, D.C., area.

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