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


January/February 2009
Vol. 42 No. 1




2008 Survey Results: Cost & Timing of Adoption

The results of our AF reader survey are in: country-specific information about wait times, and the average costs of domestic and international adoptions.
WEB EXTRA: See survey results from previous years at
p. 28

The Whole Truth

Expert advice and conversation starters to help you deal with negative information about your child's birthparents in a positive, age-appropriate way.
p. 32

Clip-and-Save Guide: Post-Adoption Paperwork

From name changes to Social Security numbers--everything you need to know about the paperwork you'll have to complete after you adopt internationally.
Plus: The Hospital Experience The legal process for domestic adopters, by Peter J. Wiernicki, Esq.
p. 37

It's in Their Genes

Nature or nurture? New research reveals which personality traits are biologically-based, and which are shaped by a child's environment--and what it all means for parents.
Plus: What's the Deal with DNA Testing? How genetic testing can help families make connections and learn about their child's ancestry.
p. 41


Parenting tips and advice for every age and stage

Ages 0-2: Feed Me! by Sarah Springer, M.D.

Formulas, nutrition, and feeding--everything you need to know about filling your child's tummy.

p. 49

Ages 3-5: New Kid on the Block By JoAnne Solchany, Ph.D.

Adding to your family again? Ease the transition for your preschooler by being prepared for new-sibling anxiety.

p. 50

Ages 6-8: Money Worries by Joni S. Mantell, LCSW

The recession is a grown-up problem, but kids may be having money-related concerns of their own.

p. 51

Ages 9-12: Fantasies of Fame By Marybeth Lambe, M.D.

Help your preteen deal with feelings of loss triggered by celebrity adoptions.

p. 52

Ages 13+: Searching for Self by Debbie B. Riley

The Internet can be a great tool for finding identity and networking with other adopted teens.

p. 53



• Kids (and dogs) learn that home is where you make it, in a new family film.

p. 13

The latest adoption news, plus postings from blogs we love.

p. 14

• Readers and their kids test skin-care products made for little ones.

p. 16

• Our picks for novels to curl up with this winter.

p. 17

From the Editor

p. 5


p. 6

Ask AF

Melamine testing guidelines for children adopted from China; talking about race with your child; accessing foster files; and more.

p. 10

Calendar of Events

Find an event for your family to attend.

p. 18

Living with Diversity by Billy Cuchens

One family had faith that an African-American church would help their son take pride in his identity.

p. 20

Talking Points by Victoria Moreland

When her daughter's friends ask about adoption, a mom wonders if it's her story to tell.

p. 22

About Birthparents by Amy Ford

An unexpected meeting between an adoptive mother and birthmother leads to a surprising connection.

p. 24


Children's books to help ease separation anxiety; a graphic memoir of adopting from Russia.

p. 60

At Home by Kelly James-Enger

Although there's no physical resemblance, a mom finds herself reflected in her child.

p. 66

The Experts

Open Adoption by Kathleen Silber

How to prepare for calls from potential birthmothers.
WEB EXTRA: Read more expert answers from Kathleen Silber on our Open Adoption Expert page.

p. 54

Parenting Transracially by Deborah Johnson

Living as a multicultural family, and encouraging loved ones to join in.
WEB EXTRA: Find more articles by Deborah Johnson on our Transracial Adoption Expert page.

p. 55

Adoption Medicine by Deborah Borchers, M.D.

Choosing a doctor for your newly adopted child.
WEB EXTRA: Read more articles by Dr. Borchers and other adoption medicine specialists at

p. 56

Older-Child Adoption by Gregory C. Keck, Ph.D.

Help your child overcome anxiety and begin to bond.

p. 57

NEW EXPERT! Single Parenting by Lee Varon, Ph.D.

It's OK to ask for help as a new parent--here's how.

p. 59

Child Development, Family, Health, and Education Research

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