International Adoption Education Resources


Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special Needs Kids, by Gregory Keck & Regina Kupecky

Attaching In Adoption, by Deborah Gray

Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children, by Daniel Hughes

Can This Child Be Saved? Solutions for Adoptive and Foster Families, by Foster Cline

The Connected Child, by Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross, Wendy Lyons Sunshine
Karyn Purvis also has a series of short video clips.

Created to Connect Study Guide. This is free of charge to download.

Empowered to Connect This resource provides largest number of faith-based materials regarding attachment.

Facilitating Developmental Attachment: The Road to Emotional Recovery and Behavioral Change, by Daniel Hughes

“Attachment: The First Core Strength” by Bruce Duncan Perry.

Help for the Hopeless Child: A Guide For Families, by Ronald Federici

Helping Children Cope With Separation and Loss: Revised Edition, by Claudia Jewett

Holding Time, by Martha Welch:
Discusses how mother-child holding decreases anger, conflict, temper tantrums, & sibling rivalry & increases self-esteem, self-confidence, & contentment in infants through preteens.

Post Adoption Information:
Articles about after your child arrives home at

Therapeutic Parenting, by Deborah Hague

The Whole Brain Child by Daniel Siegel

National Organization of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Webinars
FASD: Risk, Development, and Intervention- This is an excellent webinar regarding the child with FASD.

Adoption Learning Partners Recognizing and Managing Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects: A Guidebook, by Brenda McCreight

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide For Families and Communities, by Ann Pykowicz Streissguth

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders The Attachment Disorder Maryland website provides many excellent articles regarding attachment disorder and other issues related to attachment disorders.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnostic and Prevention Network This site provides a Guide to Diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

The number of families adopting children who are HIV positive is increasing. There are many children with proper medical treatment are thriving in spite of their diagnosis.
Positively Orphaned: Advocating for Orphans with HIV Project Hopeful

Adopting After Infertility, by Pat Johnston.

Childhood Speech, Language, and Listening Problems: What Every Parent Should Know, by Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi

Development of Language With the Internationally Adopted Child By Sharon Glennen, Ph.D

Harvard University Study of Language Development in Internationally Adopted Children

The New Language of Toys: Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Special Needs, by Sue Swartz

The Simple Language
These book and CD sets are available in Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and an Amharic version is currently in the works. You can see the details here:

The following are some helpful resources that address the special medical and developmental issues often faced by children adopted from an orphanage or from overseas.

Medical Travel Guide
This guide is provided to all Nightlight families. Adoption Medicine.
An easy to read and excellent site providing medical information as related to international adoption.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Click on this link to learn about the health risks in the country where your child resides.

The Handbook of International Medicine: A Guide for Physicians, Parents, and Providers, by Laurie Miller, MD
Written for health care professionals but accessible enough for the ambitious parent.

Immunization Schedule
American Academy of Pediatrics booklet for parents of internationally adopted children. This is sent to all Nightlight families.

Post Adoption Vaccinations, by Dr Alla Gordina

Nutritional Supplements and Internationally Adopted Children

Risk and Promise: A Handbook for Parents Adopting a Child from Overseas, by Chasnoff, et al.
This is an excellent short book that addresses prenatal and other issues in an easy-to-understand format.

Are These Kids Yours?, by Cheri Register
Affirms the normality of families formed through inter-country adoption & explores the special challenges these families face. Ethical issues are also addressed.

Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control, by Heather Forbes and Bryan Post
Ms. Forbes also has a website at :

The Complete Adoption Book, by Laura Beauvais-Godwin and Raymond Godwin, Third Edition

The Complete Guide to Foreign Adoption, by Barbara Bascom

The Connected Child, by Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. David Cross, Wendy Lyons Sunshine
Karyn Purvis also has a series of short video clips that can be viewed at:

Adoptive Parent Preperation. This is provided to all Nightlight families.

The Myth of the First Three Years: A New Understanding of Early Brain Development, by John Bruer

Parenting From the Inside Out, by Daniel Siegel

Raising Adopted Children: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent, by Lois Ruskai Melina

Raising Great Kids, by Dr. John Townsend (Christian based parenting book)

Real Parents, Real Children: Parenting the Adopted Child, by Holly Van Gulden

Telling the Truth to your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past, by Betsy Keefer and Jayne Schooler

Touchpoints: Your Child’s Emotional and Behavioral Development, by T. Berry Brazelton

We See the Moon, by Carrie A. Kitze.
In this book children can ask questions about their adoption and birthfamily.

Many waiting children are older. Today, very few young babies can be adopted internationally. Here are some suggested resources for learning how to create a positive adoption with an older child.

Toddler Adoption, The Weaver’s Craft, by Mary Hopkins-Best

Toddlers: Love and Logic Parenting for Early Childhood, by Jim Fay and Foster W. Cline

The Waiting Child: How the Faith and Love of One Orphan Saved the Life of Another, by Cindy Champnella
An incredible true story, honestly depicting the love, loss, suffering, healing and hope that come together in older child adoption.

Many families adopting internationally will be entering a transracial/ethnic adoption. In addition to promoting a healthy sense of the child’s culture and background, there must be an acknowledgement of the child’s racial identify. For those families adopting children from Africa, the child most likely will be seen as a black American.

Black Baby/White Hands
This book takes an eclectic spiritual view-point. The author addresses identity issues that any/every member of a multi-ethnic family may struggle with (even likely struggle with). He certainly doesn’t provide answers (per se), but he does provide questions that should be considered by families walking the path of transracial adoption. One parent who has adopted transracially and who writes and speaks on adoption-related issues, says, “I have found and continue to find Black Baby/White Hands a very, very helpful and needed book.”

Cross Cultural Adoption: How to Answer Questions from Family, Friends and Community, by Amy Coughlin, Caryn Abramowitz

**Culture Gram
You can find country-specific cultural information m on your child’s country of origin at The cost is only $4.00

Does Anybody Else Look Like Me?: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Multiracial Children, by Donna Jackson Nakazawa

I Don’t Have Your Eyes (a children’s picture book), by Carrie A. Kitze

I’m Chocolate/You’re Vanilla
This book is not about transracial adoption but is from an educational perspective: how schools can foster a healthy view of racial identity in a racially diverse and sensitive culture.

Positive Racial/Ethnic Identity, by Jeannie Lin

Kinky Curly Custard w/Jumbo Two Strand Twists – No More Shrinkage!
This is not the most professional video and is not the most interesting but the demonstration is very helpful.

The Out of Sync Child: Has Fun, by Carol Stock Kranowitz

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder, by Carol Stock Kranowitz

Raising a Sensory Smart Child: The Definitive Handbook for Helping Your Child with Sensory Integration Issues, by Lindsey Biel

Relationship of Learning Problems and Classroom Performance to Sensory Integration: Sensory Integration and the Child, by Jean Ayres

The Sensory Sensitive Child: Practical Solutions for Out-of-Bounds Behavior, by Karen A. Smith and Karen R. Gouze

Sensory Processing Disorder Resource Center

Spoon Foundation
This comprehensive website provides many articles and information regarding feeding issues and nutritional concerns.

Love Me, Feed Me: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Ending the Worry About Weight, Picky Eating, Power Struggles, by Katja Rowell M.D. This is an excellent book that addresses eating habits.

Food For Thought: The Impact of Poor Nutrition In Early Development

The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed. Child, by Pete Wright

Love is a Start . . . The Real Challenges of Raising Children with Emotional Disorders, by Donna Shilts
The true story of a mother raising children, adopted domestically, with neurological differences. Parents who have children with brain-based disorders such as Autism, Aspberger’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit, Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity, Neurologically Based Learning Disabilities, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Clinical Depression or Bi-Polar Manic Depression will most likely find this very helpful.Love without Boundaries
This is a great website that lists out the typical special needs that you see among waiting children from China.

Rainbow Kids
This is an excellent site to learn about adoption and special needs adoption

Reece’s Rainbow: International Adoption Down Syndrome Orphan Ministry
This is an excellent site for those seeking to adopt a child with Down syndrome. The site also promotes domestic adoption opportunities.

Beyond Consequences: Haiti
This was designed specifically for those adopting from Haiti after the earthquake but can apply to many situations.

Helping Children Who Have Been Sexually Abused

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Although this was developed specifically for those adopting children after the earthquake in Haiti, much of the information can be applied to children who have experienced abuse, neglect, and trauma.

Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma, by Deborah D. Gray
This is an excellent book—really books within a book—that every parent should read who is adopting a child that may have experienced any neglect.

Parenting the Hurt Child, by Keck & Kupeck

Parenting the Sexually Abused Child

Shame and Attachment
This article described the layers of shame a child can experience.

“When Children Have Been Abused”</ahref="http:>


How to Survive the Big Wait, article on

Waiting for your adoptive child, article on

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda: Tips for getting through the wait, article on

Post Adoption Information
This site provides articles regarding issues after your child arrives home.Realistic Expectations the First Year Home
This excellent 53-page guide has many articles related to issues parents may face including:
Top Ten Tips for the First Year of Placement
Understanding Post-Adoption Depression


China’s Lost GirlsDVD by National Geographic. Join several families on the emotional journey to their daughters in China, and learn more about the conditions in China that lead to abandonment.

Chinese at a Glance, by Scott D. Seligman

The Lost Daughters of China, by Karin Evans
This is the very personable journey of one adoptive family, along with stories of other families and information on what leads to abandonment and adoption in China. It also discusses the plight of the Chinese mothers who have to let their daughters go.

Mei Mei Little Sister: Portraits from a Chinese Orphanage, by Richard Bowen
This is a beautiful book of black and white photos.

Silent Tears, by Kay Bratt
This book in the form of a novel explains the culture of abandoning children with special needs. Ms. Bratt spent several years volunteering in orphanages in China.

Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son: Abandonment, Adoption and Orphanage Care in China, by Kay Ann Johnson
This book explains the political, economic, and social factors that lead to girls being abandoned China and may help parents children understand the factors leading to the children’s adoption.

China: Attachment issues as related to children from China

Families with Children from China
Offers many resources for those adopting from China

Kirabo: A Journey of Faith, Love & Adoption, By Kveta Rose

A Child’s Voice: Advocacy for Africa’s Children

Although these resources may not at first glance appear to enable you to be more prepared to adopt child, we at Nightlight believe that support, including support from your church family, is a very important part of getting the help you may need as a parent. Most likely if you are one of the first persons in your church to adopt internationally, you will be educating your church about the needs of orphaned children.

Adopted by God: From Wayward Sinners to Cherished Children, by Robert Peterson

Adopted for Life, by Russell Moore

Adopted into God’s Family: Exploring a Pauline Metaphor (New Studies in Biblical Theology), by Trevor Burke

Child of a King: What joining God’s Family really means, by Mark Johnston

Children of the Living God, by Sinclair Ferguson

Heirs with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption, by Joel Beeke (Table of Contents, Foreword, and Chapter 1)

Knowing God the Father through the Old Testament, by Christopher J. H. Wright

Longing for Home, by Andrew and Lisa Vander Maas
This CD can be purchased from:

Together for Adoption (T4A)
This is a fabulous ministry that brings together many other adoption and orphan ministries with the goal of linking vertical adoption to horizontal adoption.

Adoption as a Ministry, Adoption as a Blessing, by Michelle Gardner

The Adoption Network: Your Guide to Starting a Support System, by Laura Christianson

Christian Alliance for Orphans

This organization provides a wealth of information on how you can start an orphan care ministry in your church.Hope for Orphans


Adoption Learning Partners
To help families complete Hague education requirements, Adoption Learning Partners has courses which cover the required topics. These courses are offered individually or as part of a course package. The course packages are available so that adoptive families can take multiple courses at a reduced rate per course rather than paying the full fee for each individual course.

With Eyes Wide Open, Margi Miller and Nancy Ward
This is an especially comprehensive program that covers a number of topics as required by The Hague.

Because They Waited– Based upon the popular full-day seminar, Because They Waited, this is an educational program especially created to for those adopting older infants or children. The program may also be purchased and used by individual families through the Heart of the Matter Seminars webpage. It totals 10 hours of training and is Hague compliant (except for specific country/child information and adoption process information). Families are given their own set of DVDs to watch at their convenience. Successful completion of questions on the website will generate a certificate of completion.

BG Center Online School, presented by Boris Gindis, MD and Jody Sciortino, LCSW
This is an online course that must be completed in 25 days and provides 20 hours of training credit. Bgcenter Online School offers courses, CDs, publications, presentations, workshops and other material that helps to raise awareness and prepare parents and professionals for addressing language, developmental and educational needs of internationally adopted older children. All information comes from licensed professionals, who work with internationally adopted children on a daily basis as psychologists, researchers, and speech and language pathologists. The on-line courses include (but are not limited to) Adopting the Older Child Internationally, School Readiness and Placement, Screening and Assessments, School Issues – Behaviors, School Issues – Language, and Hosting Orphans. Adopting the Older Child Internationally meets Hague requirements except for specific process and country requirements.

Creating a Family
This website offers archived one-hour long recorded radio interviews with experts in adoption-related issues. If you are a Nightlight client, you can receive certificates after listening to certain podcasts and completing the quizzes at no charge.

Realistic Expectations the First Year Home
This free booklet has many articles written by experts. It takes a while to download because the file is so large. This is an excellent resource.

Post Institute, Dr. Bryan Post
This site has several EXCELLENT training series, and many difficult placements have been salvaged through families’ use of his strategies and the understanding/embracing of Dr. Post’s foundational work. In addition to the materials he has already created, he is working toward having additional material ready to address the “multicultural families” issue noted in the Hague requirements. Dr. Post is an internationally recognized expert in the field of attachment, the neurobiology of abuse and neglect, grief, loss, and effective ways to work with families who are struggling with challenging behaviors.

Georgia Center for Resource and Support
These webinars are free of charge. If you contact the manager, you can take the test and be issued a certificate—all free of charge. The information is excellent.The topics include:
• ADHD and Other Medical Impairments
• Adoption Stories
• Attachment 101
• Blending Holiday Traditions and Understanding Triggers
• Childhood Sexual Abuse
• Developmental Disability-Beyond the School System
• Family & Medical Leave Act & More
• Families That Care
• Family Bonds: Communicating Love in Words and Actions
• How to Parent Traumatized Children
• Managing the Medically Fragile Child
• Navigating the IEP
• Play Therapist
• Post Adoption Depression
• Review of Teen Language
• Separating the Message from the Behavior
• The Key to a Better Year with Your Teen
• Therapy That’s Right for You
• Understanding Stealing and Lying and How to Eliminate It

Adopt Shoppe
Unique Adoption Gifts, Books & Resources

Joint Council on International Children’s Services
An affiliation of non-profit international adoption and child advocacy organizations

Tapestry Books
A site devoted to selling books on adoption

Excellent article by an adoptive mom about dealing with her daughter’s attachment struggles

Although it may seem too early to start to read children’s books, collecting and reading a few of them can help you understand better what adoption looks like to a young child and how your child may perceive adoption. It can also make you feel confident about the prospect of talking to your child about adoption.

Adoption Activity Website for Children

Chinese Eyes, by Marjorie Waybill

At Home in This World. . . A China Adoption Story, by Jean MacLeod
For children 6-10, this book addresses how children feel and how to have meaningful adoption conversations

Just Add One Chinese Sister, by Patricia McMahon and Conor Clarke McCarthy

I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose A. Lewis
Written for young children.

Moonbeams, Dumplings and Dragon Boats: A Treasury of Chinese Holiday Tales, by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz and The Children’s Museum, Boston
This book can help your family join in the celebration of Chinese culture and customs.

Waiting for May, by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Written for young siblings who are waiting for a sister from China.

Families Are Forever, by Deborah Capone
Find it at

Favorite Russian Fairy Tales (Dover Children’s Thrift Classics)

Horace (Reading Rainbow Book) by Holly Keller

Is That Your Sister? by Catherine and Sherry Bunin
For families with children who are adopted transracially

The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco

Little Miss Spider, by David Kirk

The Little Snowgirl
An Old Russian Tale

A Little Story About A Big Turnip, by Tatiana Zunshine (ages 2-8)

A Mother for Choco, by Keiko Kasra

Over The Moon, by Karen Katz

Seeds of Love, by Mary Ebejer Peteryl

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, by Jamie Lee Curtis

Three Cheers for Catherine the Great!, by Cari Best and Giselle Potter

Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies, by Ann Turner

Resource List PDF
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