Talking with Young Children about Adoption

Mary Watkins and Susan Fisher

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"[This] book, with all its examples from different kinds of adoptive parents and from various types of adoptions is so compassionate, reassuring, and jargon-free, it empowers adoptive parents. . . . Recommended reading for all adoptive parents and anyone considering adoption."—Aline Zoldbrod, Option Two
 
"Parents and professionals who wish to get some practical, down-to-earth ideas about communicating with and understanding the young adopted child will relish this book."—Vivek Kusumakar, Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child Psychiatry
 
How do young children make sense of the fact that they are adopted? What worries might they have? In this insightful and sympathetic book, a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist, both adoptive mothers, prepare parents for conversations with their children about adoption. Accounts with twenty parents of conversations about adoption with their children, from ages two to ten, graphically convey what the process of sharing about adoption is like. 

Mary Watkins, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice in Littleton, Massachusetts, a teacher at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara, and the author of Waking Dreams and Invisible Guests: The Development of Imaginal Dialogues. Susan M. Fisher, M.D., is a psychoanalyst and a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and is also coauthor of To Do No Harm: DES and the Dilemmas of Modern Medicine.

"This unique book updates our knowledge, experiences, and questions about the adoption process in the 1990s. It will be useful to adoptive parents and to professionals."—Albert J. Solnit, M.D., Commissioner of Mental Health, State of Connecticut

"A wise and compassionate book which is 'must' reading for every parent of an adopted child. Teachers and others who work with adopted children will find a particularly valuable resource in understanding the particular promises and problems posed by adoption for these children and their families."—Bertram J. Cohler, University of Chicago

"This is a remarkable book of both family and scientific dialogues on adoption, a perfect book for adoptive parents and for professionals who work with adopted children and their families. The book is a lucid summary of research on this topic and a vivid chronicle of discussion between adopted children, their parents, and others who are important in their lives. There is absolutely nothing like this book anywhere."—David Reiss, director, Center for Family Research, George Washington University Medical Center

"It is an informative and moving experience to read the Watkins and Fisher book on adoption. For adoptive parents it will be reassuring to see how varied the concerns and responses are of both parents and children. What emerges from this study is a recognition of the intense need of all children to be loved and to test that love by expressing doubts, whether it be of their biological parents or their adoptive parents."—Elof Axel Carlson, State University of New York at Stony Brook

"Talking with Young Children about Adoption combines two perspectives in one very valuable package. In addition to the many provocative and informative examples of children’s talk with parents about adoption, the book provides an excellent review of research on adoption that will be useful to professionals as well as adoptive parents."—Katherine Nelson, City University of New York Graduate Center

"Personal stories of people talking with their two to seven year old adopted children shed unusual insight into the real relationship between adoptees and their parents. The book demonstrates that the challenges facing people who adopt are basically the same as those raising children to whom they have given birth. . . . Dispels the stereotypes surrounding adoption and brings to bear the humanness of the experience of raising children. . . . Its warm and often humorous stories sensitively portray the human condition, nicely balancing academic history, practical advice, and entertaining reading which validates parents as an important knowledge base."—Louis M. Crosier, Boston Book Review

"The book should prod professionals to rethink some of the standard suggestions about the entire subject of talking about adoption with children of all ages and their families. The book is a welcome addition to the library of anyone working with children and their families."—Ruth P. Sager, m.d., Journal of the American Medical Association

"Talking to Young Children About Adoption is highly recommended reading for mental health professionals. In fact, Watkins and Fisher’s book is so powerful and touching that it will captivate anyone who is interested in learning more about relationships and the bonds of love."—Aline Zoldbrod, Massachusetts Psychological Association Quarterly

"[This] book, with all its examples from different kinds of adoptive parents and from various types of adoptions is so compassionate, reassuring, and jargon-free, it empowers adoptive parents. It bestows a very vivid, warm and positive view of adoption and of the different participants in the adoptive process. . . . Should be recommended reading for all adoptive parents and anyone considering adoption. . . . So powerful and touching that it will captivate anyone who is interested in learning more about relationships and the bonds of love."—Aline Zoldbrod, Option Two

"Parents and professionals who wish to get some practical, down-to-earth ideas about communicating with and understanding the young adopted child will relish this book."—Vivek Kusumakar, Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child Psychiatry

ISBN: 9780300063172
Publication Date: February 22, 1995
270 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
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