Adoptive Families, the award-winning national adoption magazine, is the leading adoption information source for families before, during, and after adoption.


Lois Melina

For six years, AF columnis Lois Melina has tackled tough subjects with wisdom and understanding. As an internationally recognized authority on adoptive parenting and the author of several classic adoption books, Melina has guided parents through the ups, downs, joys, and difficulties, of adoption.

Preparing to Adopt

Preparing for Parenthood
Without nine months of pregnancy, adoptive parents may not realize the need for preparation. Here's how to get ready—physically and emotionally—for the arrival of your child.


When Love Has a Price
Melina considers the practicality and morality behind agency fee structures, birthparent costs, and other much-debated aspects of adoption ethics.


When Parents Adopt Out of Birth Order
Conventional wisdom says not to adopt a child out of birth order. Yet there are many reasons why this choice may be right for you—and many ways to make it work.


The Second Time Around
Parents adopting for the first time are willing to confront their fears, if it means adding a child to the family. But with the second child, concerns over "pushing their luck" may raise a whole new set of questions.


Raising Adopted Children

When the Circle of Family Grows
Adoptive parents may want to mark the arrival of their blessed child with a meaningful ceremony beyond the usual festivities.


Adoption Through a Child's Eyes
By tuning in to what children understand about adoption at each developmental stage, our talks will become richer and more effective.


When Parents Are the Educators
Raising adoption awareness at school benefits your child and his classmates. Get started by giving a presentation or advising school personnel.


Imagining Another Life
The search for identity and greater capacity for abstract thinking that come with adolescence may lead teens to a deeper understanding of their origins. Parents must be careful to listen, but let their children find their own way.


The Other Side of Privilege
Transracial adoption can be a rude awakening for white parents.


The Sibling Connection
Siblings aren't kids born to the same parents. They're kids who share an upbringing—and who fight in the backseat of the car.


How to Explain Adoption to Family and Friends
Use your experience to help family members, friends, and parents outside of the adoption community broaden their children's sphere of understanding.


Freeing Your Child to Feel
Every adoptee must eventually come to
terms with his history. If your child isn't asking questions about his adoption, he may be burying his feelings.


Dealing With Differences
Teach your child that there's nothing wrong with being different than her peers. Just because something is "the norm" doesn't mean it's the best.


Talking About—and Reaching Out to—the Birth Family

A Durable Relationship
Over the years, an open adoption arrangement may need to evolve to accommodate the changing needs of everyone involved—and above all, the child.


When Your Child Has Birth Siblings
Adoption conversations get a little trickier when you know your child has birth siblings.


Making Peace with Missing Information
We probably don't have the answers to all of our children's questions about their origins. Accepting that fact lets our children come to terms with it, too.


Books by Lois Melina

Raising Adopted Children
In this classic manual, Melina guides adoptive parents along each step of their journey.

Other books by Melina include Making Sense of Adoption and The Open Adoption Experience.


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