Books

Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents

A clinical social worker specializing in attachment, grief and trauma, has penned a comprehensive guidebook for adoptive parents. Deborah Gray helps us take an in-depth look at how children and families adjust. She notes that many of today’s adoptions involve older children who may have been abused or neglected, or who may have spent years in institutions or various foster situations; due to their past experiences these children may have difficulty attaching to their adoptive parents. Explaining that attachment forms the template for future adult relationships, Gray stresses how important it is for adoptive parents to be patient in forging this new bond. She advises creating a high structure/ high nurture environment for the child, and instructs parents to find out about their child’s background. The book covers many issues, including cross-cultural and interracial adoption, religious concerns and other complications for attaching, such as ADHD and learning disabilities. Gray also includes a detailed exploration of developmental delays common in kids who have been adopted later in life. While the book is densely written, it will nevertheless be invaluable for adoptive parents. Gray compassionately helps readers form realistic expectations, while offering a myriad of suggestions for families and children striving to form lasting, loving relationships.

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