Adoption is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know

Adoption is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know

by Patricia Irwin Johnston


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A child is coming – whether you approve or not it's time to get with the program!

If someone you care about – a family member, co-worker, or close friend – has recently announced that their family will be growing through adoption, you may have questions. After all, unless you have personally experienced adoption, you may know very little about how adoption works and what it means. Are you worried that your loved one may face disappointment? Do you find yourself wondering exactly what your role is going to be in the child's life? Does the term "open adoption" confuse and concern you? Just what are the privacy boundaries for families built by adoption: what is it okay to ask about?

Adoption Is a Family Affair! will answer all of these questions and more, offering you information about who can adopt, why people consider adopting, how kids understand adoption as they grow up, and more. This short book is crammed full of the 'need to know' information for friends and families that will help to encourage informed, happy and healthy family relationships.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781849058957
Publisher: Kingsley, Jessica Publishers
Publication date: 03/15/2012
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Patricia Irwin Johnston is not only a mom through adoption, but a member of a family which includes a birthmother, several adopted people, and several sets of adoptive parents. She is a well known and respected professional educator and volunteers within the infertility and adoption communities, having served on the boards of directors of several influential organizations including RESOLVE and Adoptive Families of America. Pat is the author of several popular books on adoption and infertility and lives in Indianapolis, USA.

Table of Contents

About the Author 10

Acknowledgments 11

The Announcement 13

Turning Loss into Gain 16

Then "Why Am I Hesitating? 17

Being Out of Control of "Making It Better" 20

What to Say and What Not 21

So You've Already Blown It 22

Your Personal, Private Fears 24

Isn't Adoption Really Just Long-Term Temporary Care? 24

Bonding 29

But They'll Be So Different from Us! 32

What about Race? 34

Can Older or Disabled Children "Fit"? 35

Open Adoption? We Don't Want to Share! 37

Will I Be the "Real Grandparent"? 39

What If It Doesn't Work? 40

How Adoption Works: The Facts vs the Myths 45

"Just Relax: After Adopting, You'll Get Pregnant" 46

How People Adopt 47

Statistics 50

The Kids 51

The Cost 53

Changing Practice—Open Adoption vs Confidential Adoption 55

The Homestudy/Family Preparation 58

Getting Ready 63

The Wait 63

International 64

Special Needs Placements 65

Domestic Infant Placement 65

Respecting Privacy Boundaries 67

Pregnant by Adoption 69

Health Care for Expectant Adopters 72

The Sympathetic Pregnancy 75

Nesting 77

They're Back? 81

Practical Preparation—Expecting by Adoption 82

Home at Last! 84

Naming as Claiming 84

Arrival Issues 87

Circling the Wagons 89

The Baby Blues 93

Parenting in Adoption 96

Age at Arrival Issues 96

Infancy 96

Toddlerhood 100

Pre-School and Elementary School-Aged Kids 102

Teens 104

The Post-Institutionalized Child 104

Adoption Issues through a Lifetime 106

In Infancy and Toddlerhood 106

At School 107

In Adolescence 109

In Adulthood 109

Expanding the Family Culture 111

Family Heritage—Stories, Traditions, and Heirlooms 111

Understanding and Including Your Grandchild's Birthfamily 114

Special Issues 116

When You Were Adopted Yourself1 116

If You Were Adoptive Parents, Too 117

When Your Kids Are New Parents at "Grandparent Age" 117

When This Is a Second Marriage 119

Foster Grandchildren 119

Adoption and the Rest of the World 121

Recognizing Adoptism—Your Own and Others' 122

Adoption in the Media 127

Adoption Language 129

Adoption Awareness Month 134

How You Can Learn More 136

Books, Newsletters, Magazines 136

Internet Sites 137

Support Groups 138

Conferences 139

An Addendum: Top Five "Hot Buttons" Not to Push! (Or Open Mouth, Extract Foot) 140

5 "What about the money?" (Didn't your mother teach you it 'was bad manners to talk about money, politics and religion?) 140

4 "Adoption connections aren't real connections anyway!" (Do you really want to say "You can do better than this?") 142

3 "Adoptedpeople are 'flawed."' (The bad seed myth or racism) 144

2 "Didn'tyou know that..." (Ignorance isn't bliss in personal relationships) 146

1 "Now you'll get pregnant! They always do." 148

Index 150

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Adoption is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, indeed, adoption is a family affair. This is an informative book, giving sound advice on many aspects of adoption to both the public and prospective adoptive parents, such as open vs. confidential adoption. The author doesn't push either practice and gives important references addressing each. She is informative and straightforward about the issue of infertility. I am now a grandparent with children of our adopted daughter and agree with the author that 'what makes a real grandparent is far less biology than it is psychology.' I like the author's sensible advice that concern should not stop with the birthmother's prenatal care but be extended to the prospective adoptive parents' health and their ability to cope with the demands of a new baby or toddler entering their lives. I also like the author's caution about keeping certain information regarding the child's background confidential so it won't turn into family gossip. Gisela Gasper Fitzgerald, author of ADOPTION: An Open, Semi-Open or Closed Practice?
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author writes this book toward the adoptive grandparents. It tells them what the adoptive and birth parents are going through physically and emotionally and in the adoption process. It's excellent common sense that first time adoptive grandparents may need. Advice they need/want to hear. Friends of the family will want to read this, too. I found it is the best book for my in-laws since my husband and I have started our adoption journey. It is easy to read and relate to. Grandparents are excited about being grandparents-and this book assures them it is okay to feel that way. In fact, it took me past the legal and required items the adoption agency needs and it got me excited about being a parent again! The whole purpose for having a family! I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone being touched by adoption.
autumnesf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Recommended by several articles & people as a book to pass on to family. I bought it & read it-was a little disappointed. I wish they had covered more attachment issues & other things we have been trained on. The book is encouragement to "get on board" for those who opposed adoption when you made the announcement. Worth sharing as it does have some good stuff in it - but I hope I don't make anyone feel that they weren't supportive. It is a small book & easy to read.
dougdepriest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While this book would make for a poor framework for the adoptive parent, it is true to its aims. We bought a copy for parents, aunts & uncles, and cousins because we thought so highly of its impact. Adoption is a family affair. And this book will help your family to prepare.
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