Summer Reading Special

Our choices for best adoption books of 2011 — plus links to excerpts from adoption-themed memoirs.

A suitcase filled with the best adoption books

Now that it’s July, it’s time for a fresh crop of compelling adoption writing. The essay and excerpts we’ve chosen this year are deeply personal — a birth mother reflects on the balanced, but utterly complex, equation that is open adoption; a mother of nine catalogs the similarities and differences that transcend genetics in her large, blended family; and a mother meets her daughter’s birth mother and realizes that her little girl will always belong to two mamás — and yet will speak to anyone who understands family.

Once again, we turned to the Adoptive Families community to compile our Fifth Annual Best Adoption Books List. Hundreds of you recommended your favorite adoption memoirs, children’s books, and parenting guides on Adoptive Families Circle. Congratulations to Lane and Brittany Martin, of New Mexico, who were randomly selected to win a Kindle, and thank you to everyone for sharing!


No Biking in the House Without a Helmet, by Melissa Fay Greene

“The months following the addition of a new child to your family have always been an emotional blur for me. We’re fortunate that such a talented writer chose to build her family through adoption, because she is able to capture those times of adjustment flawlessly.” —maggie g.

**Click here for an exclusive excerpt of No Biking in the House Without a Helmet**

The Waiting Child, by Cindy Champnella

“Champnella’s writing style is so breezy, and the story so gripping, that you won’t want to put this book down. It’s been at least three years since I last read it, yet snippets still pop into my mind from time to time. To me, that is a sign of a good book.” —YokoMama

The Kid, by Dan Savage

“Reading The Kid was the first time in the infertility/adoption process when I felt it was OK to laugh out loud. Adoption is filled with joy, but the process isn’t funny. Savage’s book really helped us.” —Farmerjoan

Mamalita, by Jessica O’Dwyer

“By the end of this Guatemala adoption memoir, you’ll feel like you are the author’s best friend and a part of the fight for her daughter!” —kellysummers

**Click here for an exclusive excerpt of Mamalita.**

In Their Own Voices, edited by Rita J. Simon and Rhonda M. Roorda

“A voice that isn’t often heard — the adult transracial adoptee — is given a platform in this book. These powerful, honest accounts can teach parents and professionals what really matters.” —Kevin8967


A Mother for Choco, by Keiko Kasza

“A little bird is searching for a family. He finds a mother who doesn’t look like him, but has a heart full of love. We read it almost every night!” —boolovey

We Belong Together, by Todd Parr

“This book keeps the story simple and to-the-point, and the colors and illustrations are perfect for my preschool-aged kids. We Belong Together is my all-time favorite kids’ book about adoption.” —tmom3

Motherbridge of Love, created by Xinran; illustrated by Josee Masse

“I love the way this book takes the birth mother, as well as the adoptive mother, into account. It inspires heartfelt conversation each time my daughter and I read it.” —leeanne71

Over the Moon, by Karen Katz

“After making a book to tell my daughter her adoption story, I found Over the Moon. It is our story! — with words my four-year-old can understand and beautiful illustrations. It’s offered us yet another vehicle for talking about her adoption.” —imalicsw

Yafi’s Family, by Linda Pettitt; illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist

“In this book, a young boy leaves Ethiopia to join his new family. It can help introduce a child to his adoption story and the idea of preserving his heritage. It’s also a wonderful book to help prepare children to be new big siblings.” —gmbackus


For the best in adoption parenting guides, check out our reader favorites HERE.


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