Articles of Interest

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Living an Open Adoption: A birth mother shares her story of making the choice to have an open adoption.

Facilitated Openness Can Benefit Children Adopted from Care: The author discusses how facilitated, safe contact with birth family members can benefit children adopted from care.

Finding Families for African American Children: The Role of Race and Law in Adoption from Foster Care: This paper from Evan B. Donelson Adoption Institute focuses on domestic transracial adoption and assesses its use as a policy and practice approach in meeting the needs of African American children in foster care who cannot be safely reunited with their parents or placed with kin.

Friendships, Social Skills, and Adoption: The author discusses causes of friendship problems in fostered and adopted kids and provides some good resources that are available to help these children with social skills difficulties.

Adoption Law: At the Hospital: An adoption attorney explains the legal steps surrounding you child’s birth when you adopt domestically.

The Truth About Domestic Adoption: This article examines the six top myths surrounding domestic adoption and provides the facts in order to dispel these myths.

The Basics of Adoption Practice: This bulletin provides an overview of the basics of adoption practice and the responsibilities of adoption workers.

Are You Pregnant and Thinking About Adoption?: This factsheet supplies the reader with information on adoption, as well as what resources are available both in the community and on the Internet.

Stepping Out of the Shadows: Birthfathers Speak Out: In this article, birthfathers speak about their experiences when their children were adopted.

Birthfathers Rising: This article discusses the adoption experience for birthfathers and also shares how to include these fathers in adoption plans.

The Battle Over a Baby: This article shares the story of a homosexual couple’s struggle to adopt in West Virginia.

Adoption and Race: Articles: Building Racial Identity: Hair is an Adoption Issue: This brief write-up discusses the importance of properly taking care of the hair of children who are racially different from their foster/adoptive parents.

Do I Love Him Yet?: An adoptive mother talks about her personal experience with PAD (Post-Adoption Depression) after adopting her four year old son from Bulgaria.

GLBT Communities and Adoption: Courting un Untapped Resource: This article discusses the barriers faced by the GLBT community in regards to adoption and what can be done to overcome these obstacles.

Looking for Their Children’s Birth Mothers: This article discusses the struggles to locate birth mothers of children adopted overseas.

Plan, Prepare, and Support to Prevent Disruptions: Research demonstrates that careful matching, adequate preparation, thoughtful transitions, and abundant family support after adoption can make the difference between adoptive family stability and disruption.

Those Hoping to Adopt Look Closer at U.S. Options: Many Americans are considering domestic adoptions of babies and foster-care children because of growing waits, restrictions, and uncertainties in adopting abroad.


Advocacy and Support

Supporting the Promise of Permanency: Post-Adoption Services for Children and Families, a publication of the National Council for Adoption. This article highlights the need for post-adopt services and Harmony’s ASAP (Adoption Support and Preservation) program.

Adoptive Parents as Advocates: A Primer: This booklet discusses how parents can become advocates for their children and offers suggestions regarding problems and solutions in regards to parents taking a more assertive role in the well-being of their children.



Laughter, Attachment, and Adopting Older Kids: The author discusses how adoptive caregivers of older children can prove they are ‘worth attaching to’.


Birthparent Information

Speaking of Birthmothers: The birth mother and the adoptive mother of a shared son describe the comments they hate to hear adoptive families say about birth families.



Nondrug Help for Preschoolers with ADHD: Authors discuss alternative parenting skills for caregivers of preschoolers diagnosed with ADHD without the use of medication.

Short Circuits: An Adoptive Mom’s Exploration of the Neurological Impact of Trauma, Neglect, and Sensory Deprivation: An adoptive mother shares her experience with her adopted daughter who was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Sensory Processing Dysfunction (SPD).

Neurofeedback Can Help Some Kids with ADHD: Training the brains of children with ADHD using a technique called neuro feedback can improve their behavior and reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity.

What Autistic Girls are Made of: The article discusses the difference between how boys and girls experience and demonstrate with autism, with the main focus on teenage girls with the disorder.

ADHD Kids’ Brains Develop More Slowly: This article discusses a study in which children with ADHD underwent brain scans which revealed a significant lag in brain regions that suppress inappropriate actions and thoughts, focus attention, remember things from moment to moment, work for reward, and control movement.

5 Foods to Feed Your Child with ADHD- and 5 to Avoid: Nutrition choices that may help or worsen symptoms of ADHD in children.

Blood Test Could Reveal Bipolar Disorder: This study reports that a blood test could be used to diagnose and assess the severity of certain mental illnesses.

Welcome to Max’s World: This article shares the story of a child named Max and his experiences with Bipolar disorder.

Reaching an Autistic Teenager: This article revolves around ‘The Community School’ (or T.C.S.) and a new, creative and highly interactive teaching method known as D.I.R./Floortime (Developmental, Individual differences, relationship-based approach) that the school is using with its autistic students.

An ADHD Primer: A combination of medication and behavioral interventions tends to yield the greatest improvement in social skills and school performance for students with ADHD.



Learning Disabilities in Children: This link discusses the different kinds of Learning Disabilities as well as IDEA, Section 504, and IEPs.

Invisible Disabilities: Invisible disabilities is an umbrella term which captures a wide spectrum of hidden disabilities or challenges (FAS, ADHD, Autism, brain injuries, learning disabilities, etc.) that are not visible to the eye. This article deals with education about these disabilities.


E-Newsletters and Magazines

Caring for Your African American or Biracial Child’s Hair: The purpose of this article is to educate parents on the importance of caring properly for their child’s hair and offers a few basic tips.


Foster and Resource Parenting

Post-Adoption Services: Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Children Adopted from Foster Care: The authors discuss the mental health needs and services that foster care children require as well as barriers to receiving these services. The article also addresses possible funding sources for these adoption services.

Sibling Issues When One Has Special Needs: Am I My Brother’s Keeper?: The author discusses strategies to facilitate the positive adjustment and support of well siblings who have a brother or sister with special needs.

Sleep and Adoption: The author provides several helpful suggestions regarding ways to help your child sleep peacefully through the night.

A Burden to be Well: Sisters and Brothers of the Mentally Ill: This article explores the concept of the ‘well-sibling’ syndrome- siblings who have a brother or sister diagnosed with a mental illness.

Lost and Found: In this article, a young lady named Samara shares her story of being an older child in foster care and of the ‘Family Finding’ efforts cities across the United States are now employing.

The Effect of Family Communication Patterns on Adopted Adolescent Adjustment: This study examines the relationship between family communication and adjustment with adolescents who have been adopted.

A Sibling Thanksgiving: One Mom’s Tradition: Perspectives on Challenged Family Building: An adoptive mother shares her Thanksgiving idea she used with her nine children to promote family harmony.

Adoption and Sibling Relationships: What Children Have Taught Me: The author discusses her experiences with working with foster and adoptive children in her ‘playshops’ with a focus on sibling issues and offers some suggestions for professionals based on these experiences.

Boy Who Slept in Trash Can is Student of the Year: This article tells the story of D.J., an 11 year old boy from Alabama, who spent most of his early life on the streets and how he became Student of the Year at his school.

Developmental Grieving: The Yearly Struggles: This handout offers some ideas for helping children deal with holidays and birthdays post-placement/post-adopt.

‘Grandfamilies’ Come Under Pressure: This article deals with the stressors grandparents face when raising their adopted grandchildren.

Lessons I’ve Learned About Parenting: This article is written by a former foster care child, Terrell Woods, who shares his story of being in care and the things he learned about parenting along the way.

Pregnant and Parenting Foster Youth: Their Needs, Their Experiences: This report conducted by Chapin Hall examines the experiences and needs of pregnant and parenting youth in foster care. The final report describes what was learned from both the administrative data and the qualitative interviews, discusses their policy and practice implications, and raises a number of questions for future research.

Sibling Attachment: This article explores the attachment between siblings in regards to adoption.

Six Words for Adoptive Parents to Live By: Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross discusses their project known as The Hope Connection and the six words for adoptive parents to live by: Be Compassionate! Be Firm! Be Proactive!

Telling the Tough Stuff: This article suggests how caregivers can tell their children about the difficult facts about adoption in positive, age-appropriate ways…and how to keep the conversation going.

10 Tips for Foster Parents to Help Their Foster Youth Avoid Teen Pregnancy: This article provides tips on such topics as the importance of maintaining strong, close relationships with children and teens, setting clear expectations for them, and communicating honestly and often with them.

The Vortex of Violence: The purpose of this paper is to describe how children survive the ‘Vortex of Violence’- violence in the home.

When Adopted Youth Turn 18: This article describes what foster parents can do to prepare their child for turning 18.

Where I’ve Been, Where I Am, Where I’m Going: This is a poem written by a foster child named Roger that talks about how parents can help ‘lighten the load’ for foster children in their care in regards to their pasts.

A Real Mother’s Embrace: Reflections on Abuse and Recovery: A young boy named Aaron shares his story of being in the foster-care system.


Grief and Loss

Ambiguous Loss Haunts Foster and Adoptive Children: This article deals with the notion of ‘Ambiguous loss’ – a feeling of grief/distress combined with confusion about the lost person or relationship and how this feeling occurs over and over again for children placed in foster care. The author makes several suggestions as to what professionals and parents can do in order to help these children with this concern.

Going and Growing Through Grief and Loss: Parenting Traumatized Adopted Children: In this article, the author discusses trauma and the role of grief in traumatized foster/adoptive children.


Parenting Skills and Discipline

Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Children: The article provides a step-by-step tutorial for how to lead a youth through a relaxation technique known as Progressive Muscle Relaxation.

Feelings, Behaviors, and Relationships: The author discusses how traditional parenting techniques are contrary to the primal goal of children: unconditional love and acceptance from their parents. This article discusses parenting from a love-based paradigm and going beyond children’s behavior and beyond consequences to see that negative behavior is a form of communication and a response to stress.

Good Parents, Bad Parents: 8 Ways Science Shows that Mom and Dad GO Wrong When Disciplining Their Kids: This article discusses ‘evidence-based parenting’; which discipline methods work and which ones do not.

Strict Bedtimes may Fend Off Teen Depression: The article discusses how teens who stay up past midnight are at a higher risk of serious mental issues.


Professional Resources

Addressing the Needs of Young Children in Child Welfare: Part C- Early Intervention Services: This article provides examples of State efforts to implement the new referral provisions and provides lessons learned to child welfare administrators and practitioners in accessing early intervention services for children and families identified by the child welfare system.

Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System: This book provides an overview of the nervous system, the disorders of the brain, and some of the new avenues of research that promise new therapies for many neurological diseases.

Creating a Trauma-Informed Child Welfare System: This issue explores challenges to creating trauma-informed child welfare systems and provides recommendations for future directions in the field.

Evidence-Based Treatment for Children in Child Welfare: This paper presents a review of the research evidence for trauma-focused interventions for children and adolescents with a goal to provide guidance about effective strategies for addressing emotional and behavioral problems associated with trauma.

Healing Humpty-Dumpty: Texas Christian University researchers combine guidance and pioneering research to help unreachable kids.

National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey: Sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, this survey highlights Americans’ attitudes about foster care adoption, their beliefs about the children waiting to be adopted, their perceptions of the system caring for these children, and their attitudes toward what a healthy living environment is like for a child.

Perspectives on Challenged Family Building: This article focuses on the Vineland Adaptive Behavioral Scales in regards to parenting children in the areas of: communication, daily living skills, and socialization.

Brain Structure and Function II: Special Topics Informing Work with Maltreated Children: The purpose of this booklet is to provide an overview of some of the key features of the brain that are directly influenced by trauma, neglect, or fear.

Caught Between the Amygdala and a Hard Place: The role of the Amygdala in children who appear emotionally unstable.

Detangling Diagnoses for Foster and Adoptive Youth: This article deals with the diagnostic challenges that present when evaluating foster care/adopted children and states that the evaluation needs to be performed holistically.

Retrace Developmental Stages to Help Older Children Heal: The author discusses the importance of applying Erik Erikson’s developmental theory to children in foster care, even when it means retracing these stages.

2nd Generation Adoptive Parenting: This article shares information gleaned from in-depth surveys and personal interviews with more than twenty adoptive families in the U.S. and Canada about some of the realities of kinship care, as well as strategies used when confronted with an unexpected return to parenting.

Taking Play Seriously: This article discusses the biological and spiritual underpinnings of play and how play is fundamental for people of all ages.


Therapeutic Approaches

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with At-Risk Families: PCIT is a family-centered treatment approach proven effective for abused and at-risk children and their biological and foster caregivers. This article is intended to build a better understanding of the benefits of PCIT and what can be expected during PCIT sessions for professionals and caregivers.

The Power of Positive Syncing: The article provides a broad overview of PCIT (Parent-Child Interaction Therapy).

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Addressing the Mental Health of Sexually Abused Children: This article is intended to build a better understanding of the characteristics and benefits of TF-CBT , which is designed to help reduce negative emotional and behavioral responses following traumatic events.

Abuse-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Child Physical Abuse: The purpose of this article is to build a better understanding of the characteristics and benefits of AF-CBT, as well as what can be expected during this type of treatment.

Family Attachment Narrative Therapy: Healing the Experience of Early Childhood Maltreatment: The author (and developer) of Family Attachment Narrative Therapy discusses the basics of this modality and how it is used with children who have suffered from childhood maltreatment.


Trauma, Abuse, and Neglect

What Symptoms Suggest That an Adoptive Child Has Been Exposed to a Significant Traumatic Event?: The author provides a general overview of Traumatic Stress as well as some signs that children often demonstrate with who have been exposed to a trauma.

Complex Trauma in Children and Adolescents: The purpose of this article is to educate caregivers on the dual problem of children’s exposure to multiple traumatic events and the impact of this exposure on immediate and long-term outcomes.

Bonding and Attachment in Maltreated Children: Consequences of Emotional Neglect in Childhood: This article answers many of the frequently asked questions regarding attachment and bonding as well as offers some suggestions to facilitate attachment/bonding for caregivers.

Helping Traumatized Children: A Brief Overview for Caregivers: This booklet addresses some of the key issues related to the child’s complex set of reactions that often follow traumatic events.

Parenting a Child Who Has Been Sexually Abused: A Guide for Foster and Adoptive Parents: This factsheet discusses how caregivers can help children in their care by educating themselves about sexual abuse, establishing guidelines for safety and privacy in the family, and understanding when and how to seek professional help.