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Recommended reading for adopted people

Adie, K (2005) Nobody's Child.
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd. ISBN 0340838000

Inspired by her own circumstances as an adopted person, reporter Kate Adie writes about what adoption means to her.

Arnott, P (2001) A Good Likeness: A Personal Story of Adoption.
Abacus. ISBN 0349113289
Well-written and interesting story of the author’s decision to trace his birth parents.


Bailey, J and Giddens, L N (2001) The Adoption Reunion Survival Guide: Preparing Yourself for the Search Reunion and Beyond.

New Harbinger Publications. ISBN 1572242280

Real-life experiences help readers prepare for the emotional turbulence of the reunion experience, examine their fantasies and emotions about it, and find a personal support system to help them through.

Brodzinskly, D, Schechter, M and Henig, R (1992) Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self.
Anchor Books. ISBN 0385414269

Looks at identity issues for adopted people from childhood to adulthood.

Burton, N J (2008) Swimming up the Sun: A Memoir of Adoption.
Pan. ISBN 978-0979899201

Tells the story of the author's search for her English birth parents, a Jewish father and a mother believed to be an artist. The adventure led to parents, grandparents, and siblings, a kaleidoscope of relationships with one dark secret at its center. Further details and extracts can be found on the author's website.

Campbell, N (2004) Blue-eyed Son: The Story of an Adoption.
Pan. ISBN 0330433067

Presenter and broadcaster Nicky Campbell writes movingly on his own personal experiences as an adopted person tracing his birth family.

Clapton, G (2003) Relatively Unkown: A Year in the Life of the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland.
Scotland Family Care. ISBN 0950811769
This is a collection of over sixty first-hand accounts from those who have used the Register.  Useful for everyone affected by adoption and by all those who work with them.

Clark, G (2008) The Role of Mother and Baby Homes in the Adoption of Children Born Outside Marriage in Twentieth-Centry England and Wales
Family & Community History 11(1), May 2008, pp.45-59

A fascinating article considering the role of mother and baby homes in providing unmarried pregnant girls with accommodation and support while making decisions about their future, and proposing that the unforgiving attitude of families and rejection of the girls by the community influenced decisions to place children for adoption.

Douglas, A and Philpot, T (2002) Adoption: Changing Families, Changing Times.
Routledge. ISBN 0415256852
Book of contributions from all those with an interest in adoption: adopted people; birth parents and adoptive parents; practitioners and managers in the statutory and voluntary sectors; academics and policy makers.


Elliot, S (2005) Love Child: A Memoir of Adoption, Reunion, Loss and Love. 
Vermilion. ISBN 0091906830
This book traces the author’s personal story being adopted in the 1950s and her decision to find her birth mother, together with the history of adoption in Britain over the past 100 years.


Feast, J & Philpot, T (2003) Searching Questions: Identity Origins and Adoption. 
BAAF. ISBN 1903699479
Book and accompanying video of 10 people speaking about adoption and search and reunion. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website.


Feast, J, Marwood, M, Seabrook, S & Webb, E (2002) Preparing for Reunion: Experiences from the Adoption Circle (3rd edition). 
The Children’s Society. ISBN 1899783091
Advice on the reunion process, including personal stories.

Harris, P (2006)  In Search of Belonging: Reflections of Transracially Adopted People
BAAF. ISBN 1903699770
A substantial anthology giving voice to the experience of transracial adoption in the UK through poetry, art, autobiography, memoir and oral testimony from over 50 adoptees. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website.   

Holloway, S (Editor) (2005) Family Wanted: Adoption Stories 
Granta Books.  ISBN 1862077533
A powerful collection of pieces by writers on adoption, from all three sides of the issue: writers who are adopted, those who have given up children for adoption and those who have adopted.  

Howe, D & Feast, J (2003) Adoption Search and Reunion: The Long-term Experience of Adopted Adults. 
BAAF. ISBN 189978330X
Accessible book about a large research study on searchers and non-searchers together with short-term and long-term outcomes. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website


Iredale, S (1997) Reunions.
The Stationery Office. ISBN 0117021504
Experiences of 15 people who have had a reunion.

Lifton, B & Lifton, J (2000) Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness. 
Basic Books.  ISBN 0465036759
Another classic on adopted people and identity.


Perl, L & Markham, S (1999) ‘Why Wasn’t I Told?’ Making Sense of the Late Discovery of Adoption.
Post–Adoption Resource Centre, New South Wales.  ISBN 0957714505
A report co-written by an adopted person and adoption professional

Phillips, Z H (2008) Mother Me: An Adopted Woman's Journey to Motherhood.
BAAF. ISBN 9781905664368
An honest personal memoir exploring the impact of adoption on childhood, adolescence, relationships and self-esteem. Further details, excerpts and a link to the author's website can be found on the BAAF website.

Saffian, S (1999) Ithaka: A Daughter's Memories of Being Found.
Delta Books.  ISBN 03853345016
Personal account of reunion.


Thomas, C and Beckford, V with Lowe, N and Murch, M (1999) Adopted Children Speaking.
BAAF. ISBN 1873868782
This book is full of poignant testimonies offering revealing insights into what children and young people think about adoption. Themes covered include the beginnings of the process; matching and introductions; the court; life story work; contact; and adoptive home and school. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website.

Trinder, L, Feast J and Howe, D (2004) The Adoption Reunion Handbook.
John Wiley and Sons Ltd. ISBN 0470094222
This comprehensive and practical 'how to' guide is essential for everyone involved in adoption, particularly those considering searching for information on their birth relatives. It is based on a large-scale research study and draws on real-life experiences of reunions.

Triseliotis, J, Feast, J and Kyle, F (2005) The Adoption Triangle Revisited: A Study of Adoption, Search and Reunion Experience. 
BAAF. ISBN 1903699711
For all those with an interest in adoption and the search and reunion experience. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website.


Van Gulden, H and Bartels-Rabb, L M (1995) Real Parents, Real Children: Parenting the Adopted Child.
Crossroads Publishing Co. (USA). ISBN 0824515145
‘Are they real brothers and sisters?’, ‘Do you know who your real mum is?’ Contrary to the pejorative way many people use the term ‘real’, adoptive parents and their adopted children are each other’s real family. Making that family work and nurturing all of its members to be healthy individuals in rewarding relationships with one another is what this book is all about.

Verrier, N (2010) Coming Home to Self: Healing the primal wound.
BAAF. ISBN 9781905664818
From understanding basic trauma and the neurological consequences of trauma, to step-by-step ways to heal that trauma, this book is written with adopted adults in mind, but is relevant to all those involved in adoption. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website.

Verrier, N (2009) The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child.  
BAAF. ISBN 9781905664764
Since its original publication in 1993, The Primal Wound has become a classic in adoption literature. Further details and ordering options can be found on the BAAF website.


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