Articles

Articles we recommend

We have carefully chosen these articles to help you in your adoption journey. These resources are provided by other organizations, and do not always represent the views of the Post Adoption Resource Center.

Raising Good Eaters

Source: Adoption Nutrition

Feeding children regular and balanced snacks and meals every day is a challenge for any parent, but transitioning a child who may not have had the best start with nutrition or the way he was fed can seem like a huge undertaking. Learn more about topics that will help you transition your child to a new diet and nourish them to optimal health: The Golden Rule of Feeding, The Transition Diet, Weaning From Formula, Supplementing the Diet, Common Feeding Challenges.

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Lifebooks

Source: Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange

What is a Lifebook? A Lifebook is a record of a child’s memories, past and present, in his or her own words. As a child moves through foster care, oftentimes his or her life story gets lost. The Lifebook pages are used to document important events and celebrations, honoring a child’s life. It is also used as a way to open up discussion and help a child work through losses.

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Helping to Heal Invisible Hurts: The Impact of In-utero Stress & Trauma

Source: WI Foster Care & Adoption Resource Center

Understanding trauma is paramount to understanding the needs of the child you are caring for. But what if the child in your care came to you immediately or shortly after birth? Your newborn hasn’t suffered “abuse or neglect.” She came to you with a trauma free slate. You are the only caregiver she has ever known, and you’ve loved and nurtured her with great dedication from day one. But then you start to notice things . . .

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Delayed Launching: Adopted Adolescents and the Not-So Empty Nest

Source: PACT

So many parents are familiar with the adolescent anthem “When I’m Eighteen, I’m Leaving.” This refrain is as common with adopted adolescents as it is with adolescents who were born to their families.

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Parenting Your Adopted Teenager

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

During the teenage years, youth form an identity that is separate from their parents and begin to learn adult life skills. Adoption adds complexity to the normal developmental tasks of teenagers, regardless of the age they were adopted. This factsheet is designed to help you, the adoptive parent, understand your adopted teenager’s experiences and needs so you can respond with practical strategies that foster healthy development.

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The Healing Power of "Giving Voice"

Source: National Council for Adoption

Children coming from situations of trauma, abuse, or neglect often experience the loss of their ability to voice their needs in a healthy way and the loss of trust that these needs will be met. Interventions for children from hard places must include restoring voice, which in turn encourages trust, healing, and attachment. Drs. Karyn Purvis and David Cross explore what the loss of voice means for children, and how appropriate interventions and therapies can allow them to give voice to their needs and experience healing within a safe, nurturing family. The article includes a brief list of recommended skills and strategies for parents and caregivers.

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Manipulation and the Inability to Ask for Help

Source: Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc.

"This is not a conscious choice, but rather, as the traumatized brain sees it, a fight between life and death where manipulation equals life, while asking equals death."

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Understanding the Conversation Behind the Behavior

Source: North American Council on Adoptable Children

When children do not know how to verbally express their needs (which is predominantly the case during early childhood), they “speak” through their behaviors. In other words, behavior is a form of communication. When a parent can stop, pause, and “listen” to the behavior of a child, it can become quite obvious what the child is saying. Looking at the behavior from an objective perspective also unveils the logic behind the child’s behavior.

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Connecting With Our Children: 7 Core Issues in Adoption

Source: Rainbow Kids

Fear, anger, loss and grief. Most of us would prefer to not have to deal with adoption fall-out. It is emotional, messy, complicated stuff that most of us were not raised to handle. But somewhere between the ages of four and ten, our adopted children begin to realize that in gaining an adoptive family, they have suffered some very significant losses.

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4 Ways to Help Your Adopted/Foster Child Through Mother's Day and Other Holidays

Source: Institute For Attachment and Child Development

For most adopted children and those in foster care, the three most difficult days of the year are Mother’s Day, Christmas or Hanukkah, and the child’s birthday. These special days often bring about feelings of loneliness, sadness, and grief for a child who has been hurt. Children may be missing birth parents, foster parents, siblings or other important people in their lives.

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Back to School: A Guide to Making Schools and School Assignments More Adoption-Friendly

Source: National Council for Adoption

This guide will help foster and adoptive parents advocate for their children, and will also help educators be more aware of and sensitive to the needs and issues of children in foster care as well as those who have been adopted.

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College Choices for Adopted Teens

Source: Center For Adoption Support and Education

As the high school years come to an end, some teens may experience a wide range of emotions including ambivalence around leaving home.

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What Teachers Should Know About Adoption

Source: QICAG

You may be wondering what information you should be giving to your child’s teacher about his or her adoption. Here is a link to a great article that addresses exactly that.

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Raising Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Source: Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Parenting a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is a journey. It can sometimes be very challenging and very rewarding at the same time. You cannot parent a child with an FASD without having it change your life and most often, for the better. You will meet some amazing people, make some amazing friendships, and see a beautiful child work really hard to be the best person they can be with your love and support.

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Behavior and Sensory Processing: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Source: North American Council on Adoptable Children

Many children in foster care and adoption struggle with sensory processing, and being thoughtful about how this affects their behavior can help parents create opportunities for success.

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Understanding the Conversation Behind the Behavior

Source: North American Council on Adoptable Children

When children do not know how to verbally express their needs (which is predominantly the case during early childhood), they “speak” through their behaviors. In other words, behavior is a form of communication. When a parent can stop, pause, and “listen” to the behavior of a child, it can become quite obvious what the child is saying. Looking at the behavior from an objective perspective also unveils the logic behind the child’s behavior.

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How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD

Source: The Atlantic

Some experts say the normal effects of severe adversity may be misdiagnosed as ADHD.

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Helping Your Child Move from Anti-Social to Pro-Social Behaviors

Source: North American Council on Adoptable Children

For us to understand where some of our children’s most challenging behaviors come from, we must first realize just how much neglect and trauma affect every aspect of a child’s development. We are social-emotional beings with an innate need to connect and form meaningful attachment relationships. Every interpersonal skill required for us to be successful in creating and sustaining these relationships must be learned.

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Missing Pieces: Talking to Your Child about Adoption when Information is Limited

Source: Coalition for Children, Youth & Families

Most children and youth who were adopted will someday look to find out about their birth family members or will have questions about their pasts. This tip sheet looks at what you can do to support your children when you have little or no information about their birth family.

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Talking to Adopted Children About Birth Parents and Families of Origin: How to Answer the “Hard Questions”

Source: National Council for Adoption

In the September 2015 issue of NCFA's Adoption Advocate, Rhonda Jarema writes about the importance of talking with adopted children about their birth families, and offers some suggestions for adoptive parents.

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Talking to Your Child About Adoption: Recommendations for Parents

Source: National Council for Adoption

While recognizing that it can be uncomfortable for parents to discuss adoption with their children, in the December 2011 issue of NCFA's Adoption Advocate, Nicole Callahan offers advice to help parents create an open, honest, and age appropriate dialogue with their children. She emphasizes the importance of beginning this conversation early to help a child feel secure in their identity and facilitate further conversations.

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Transracial Resources

Source: North American Council on Adoptable Children

The resources below were identified by Deb Reisner, NACAC’s parent support specialist who facilitates NACAC’s support services for transracial adoptive families in Minnesota.

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Helping to Heal Invisible Hurts: The Impact of In-utero Stress & Trauma

Source: WI Foster Care & Adoption Resource Center

Understanding trauma is paramount to understanding the needs of the child you are caring for. But what if the child in your care came to you immediately or shortly after birth? Your newborn hasn’t suffered “abuse or neglect.” She came to you with a trauma free slate. You are the only caregiver she has ever known, and you’ve loved and nurtured her with great dedication from day one. But then you start to notice things . . .

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The Healing Power of "Giving Voice"

Source: National Council for Adoption

Children coming from situations of trauma, abuse, or neglect often experience the loss of their ability to voice their needs in a healthy way and the loss of trust that these needs will be met. Interventions for children from hard places must include restoring voice, which in turn encourages trust, healing, and attachment. Drs. Karyn Purvis and David Cross explore what the loss of voice means for children, and how appropriate interventions and therapies can allow them to give voice to their needs and experience healing within a safe, nurturing family. The article includes a brief list of recommended skills and strategies for parents and caregivers.

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How Childhood Trauma Could Be Mistaken for ADHD

Source: The Atlantic

Some experts say the normal effects of severe adversity may be misdiagnosed as ADHD.

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Manipulation and the Inability to Ask for Help

Source: Attachment & Trauma Network, Inc.

"This is not a conscious choice, but rather, as the traumatized brain sees it, a fight between life and death where manipulation equals life, while asking equals death."

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Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Children who have experienced traumatic events need to feel safe and loved. All parents want to provide this kind of nurturing home for their children. However, when parents do not have an understanding of the effects of trauma, they may misinterpret their child’s behavior and end up feeling frustrated or resentful. Their attempts to address troubling behavior may be ineffective or, in some cases, even harmful.

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Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Abuse or Neglect

Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway

Children who have been abused or neglected need safe and nurturing relationships that address the effects of child maltreatment. If you are parenting a child who has been abused or neglected, you might have questions about your child’s experiences and the effects of those experiences.

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The Adopted Child: Trauma and Its Impact

Source: The Post Institute

Whether adopted from birth or later in life, all adopted children have experienced some degree of trauma. Trauma is any stressful event which is prolonged, overwhelming, or unpredictable. Though we are familiar with events impacting children such as abuse, neglect, and domestic violence, until recently, the full impact of trauma on adopted children has not been understood.

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Supporting Maltreated Children: Countering the Effects of Neglect and Abuse

Source: North American Council on Adoptable Children

The most important property of humankind is the capacity to form and maintain relationships. These relationships are absolutely necessary for any of us to survive, learn, work, ...

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What to Do If Your Child Discloses Sexual Abuse

Source: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Disclosure is when a child tells another person that he or she has been sexually abused. Disclosure can be a scary and difficult process for children. Some children who have been sexually abused may take weeks, months, or even years to fully reveal what was done to them. Many children never tell anyone about the abuse.

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Parenting After Trauma: Understanding Your Child’s Needs

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics and Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

All children need homes that are safe and full of love. Children who have experienced severe trauma may need more. Early, hurtful experiences can cause children to see and react in different ways. Some children who have been adopted or placed into foster care need help to cope with what happened to them in the past. Knowing what experts say about early trauma can help you work with your child.

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