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Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  634 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Buy with confidence - satisfaction guaranteed! Writing on a few pages. Binding tight. Some shelf edge wear, indentations, and corner bumping to dust jacket. Gently used copy in good condition.
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Perspectives Press (IN) (first published April 30th 2002)
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4.14  · 
Rating details
 ·  634 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Elizabeth Blake
This book provided many examples of challenges to attachment in adoption. I found these useful for my practice as a pediatric nurse practitioner. I only wish our healthcare system offered enough time to explore more about attachment during a well-child visit. So many children now have times in their life when they change households even if not through adoption. Some are raised by grandparents or step-parents. I think the book makes a good point about the criticality of care in the first year, ev ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is completely awesome for adoptive parents, especially if your child was adopted at age 6 months or older, or if your child has any special circumstances (past abuse, neglect, trauma, etc.). The book is a bit like a textbook, but a very readable one - I did not find the presentation dry, and the material was all compelling. If anything, some of the vignettes (illustrative stories about adoptive children/families) were so compelling as to be heart-wrenching - it is just such a shame wha ...more
Katie Kenig
Nov 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adoption, non-fiction
I've read so many adoption books in the last couple of years that they are starting to run together in some respects. They often give the same advice, in different words, and to that degree, this book is not much different from others I have read. And yet, it kept my attention riveted much more so than most of the others.

The reason? Well, I suspect that it's the real-life vignettes that pepper every chapter. It's difficult to imagine, before you are even in these situations, what it might really
Matt Diephouse
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My wife and I are adopting and this was one of the books recommended to us by the adoption agency.

This book made a lot sense to me. Children need healthy, secure attachments with their parents. If they don't, every area of their life will be affected. But adopted children have experience deep loss—often early in life—that affects their natural desire to attach.

Deborah Gray presents a lot of information about ways that you can promote attachment with your children. It provided a helpful picture o
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Haven't been reading this cover to cover, but rather flipping to what seem like the most informative sections here & there. So far it seems to have a lot of useful info on helping to build attachment with your adopted child, and the info is organized by the child's emotional development phase, rather than chronological age- which I think is nice since different children can reach different phases of development at very different ages. This book has practical info on what to do to optimize yo ...more
Suzanne Chandler
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you read one book about Attachment, this should be it.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: adoption, 2017-books
Lots of helpful information presented in a dry way - definitely wasn't an easy read, but learned much.
Diana Meredith
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book about adoption and attachment!
Vance Gatlin
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Packed with a lot of useful information, pulling no punches. It is overwhelming what the kids go through though, causing you to pause and think often.
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adoptive Parents
Shelves: adoption
This book is a little frightening, to be honest. The vignettes are very honest and many are quite sad. However, it does give adoptive parents hope that even in the most extreme cases children can be loved and parented toward healthy attachment. I did not read all of the attachment phases, but only those which will apply to our family. Then I picked up again at Chapter 11 to complete the book. I'm usually not so economical in my reading, but desperate times and all that.

I know this is a book tha
Katie Kent
Jun 28, 2010 rated it liked it
I can't really say I "liked" this book because it is filled with horror stories of adoptions gone wrong, or children who have been so adversely affected by their circumstances that it is difficult to see a positive outcome for them. However, it does open a parents' eyes to what children can be exposed to before adoption, what to expect if children have been adversely affected, and how we can help them in a practical and caring way if we find there are problems with attachment. This was a book re ...more
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone working with foster kids, adoptees and/or attachment disordered children and/or adults
I'm not even half way thru and I am gaining so many practical tools from this book. It's exciting to find a book that can offer so much valuable and specific information to benefit my clients! It actually makes me optimistic. It is also current, which is refreshing and makes me realize how anyone thinks they can write a psych book or self-help book, but few actually accomplish an impressive and useful work.

On the negatives, it's terribly written! I wonder if Gray even had an editor as some of th
Jul 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book provides a good overview of what to expect regarding attachment during each childhood development stage. This should be required reading for every social worker, foster parent and adoptive parent. You will refer to this book repeatedly while raising your children.

I just wish that the social workers that I was working with while I was a foster parent had read this book.

Heck, I wish *I* had read this book while I was a foster parent. It would have helped everyone involved tremendously.
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
So far this is my second favorite adoption book; Parenting the Hurt Child by Gregory Peck is my favorite. Attaching in Adoption is a rather deep book, one that will require more than one read. It's not quite as practical as Parenting the Hurt Child but covers more of the "why" behind some children's behavior and attachment difficulties. The two books together give us a great idea of the different issues we could face and some practical suggestions for how to start off on the right foot.
Colin Bendell
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the quintessential book for future adoptive parents. A must read - though it will only help to academically understand the issues related to attachment and the risk of RAD.

A personal note, however, there is nothing that will prepare you for the real challenges of attachment with an adopted child. The best hope you can have is that some of the the strategies and instruction from Deborah Gray will stay in the back of your mind when in the thick of things. The first year is always the hard
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My husband and I are planning to adopt internationally and I found Deborah D. Gray's book "Attaching in Adoption" to be a wonderful resource! It's very informative and honest on the topic of attachment. Gray's text covers each stage of the child's attachment from birth up to the end of the teen years. I love how the author includes tasks that are key for each stage and also includes real life case scenarios of children in each of the different stages. We will be buying this one to keep as a pare ...more
James Andersen
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a well written, comprehensive 5-star book that covers a multitude of adoptive and foster situations, with its writing purposed to address the variety of relationship issues that present themselves when a child leaves one family to join another.

Foster and adopted children clearly experience relationship heartbreak in ways we could never imagine, and this book makes that clear. Thankfully, the author shows us the way to correct such issues.
Feb 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was a great review of attachment difficulties that children entering adoptive homes face. It gives a lot of information about different stages of attachment and where children should progress to at each stage. This was helpful information. The emphasis on returning to early childhood activities (rocking, etc.) to fulfill needs was the most helpful portion of this book to me. I thought that my 10-year-old foster-adopt son wouldn't like things like "little piggy." I was wrong.
Jennifer Bryson
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
We adopted our daughter (internationally) over a decade ago, and I have returned to this book annually to refresh my memory on what is *normal* for adopted kids. It is well-researched, supportive, and a great reminder that hurt children can heal with the right tools. Although anecdote heavy, the chapters are easy to navigate and focus on what we as caregivers can do to guide children through tough times. Add this book to your toolkit if you are parenting a child with a difficult background.
Jul 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lots of information that is good to have covered before taking an adoptive placement, and definitely a resource to have on hand to reference in specific cases. She does a great job covering all kinds of adoptive placements (foster, international, etc) and giving examples which helped keep it from feeling too clinical. Very accessible.
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was honest and raw, if you are considering adoption this is a good book to read. Adoptions are not for the light of heart and neither is this book. If you can't read about the hard stuff than you certainly will not be able to deal with it when the time comes, this book will help you be prepared.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Compelling, honest, helpful, and hopeful. This book helped me travel back through the stages of attachment and see where my child was disrupted (during foster care and adoption) in his development, attachment, and why his relationships are inappropriate and controlling. This book has been the MOST helpful of the books and books and books I've read.
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody seriously considering adopting
Recommended to Jennifer by: my adoption counselor
This book was recommended by my adoption counselor. It was fantastic! I highly recommend this book to anyone who is adopting. Ms. Gray gives excellent advice on signs to look for of various adoption issues, there are helpful vignettes, and practical advice on how to address various issues.

I finished this book feeling better informed and prepared for adoption.
Missy Rose
Apr 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a great general overview of common adoption issues. There are many resources listed throughout and featured in the back of the book. I'll be keeping this copy for future reference. However, I would say that sometimes the language wasn't for the average lay person and seemed aimed at professionals in the adoption field.
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Comprehensive (and a bit overwhelming). But, the author, who is extremely experienced in the therapy of adopted kids, has the viewpoint that it's better to be prepared than to just believe that love/nurture alone will solve everything.
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
this is pretty much the bible on attachment for adopted kids. totally helped prepare me for what to expect and really breaks down the stages of attachment and what to look for. lots of great vignettes about what helped other families. definitely get this book if you are going to adopt!
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good resource for adoptive parents. I would recommend reading the first few chapters and then skimming over to the parts that are most relevant for your situation. It is more of a resource book than something to be read cover to cover.
Eric Lee
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's clear why this book has become the standard in the field. It's clear and laden with examples that enliven the techniques discussed in each chapter. The chapter "Forming a Team of Support" is particularly timely as we proceed through the foster-adoption process.
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adoptive parents
Shelves: adoption
This book covers everything on attachment that I had been gathering from conversations, web sites and other books. With short vignettes, diagnosis info, therapy ideas, and parenting suggestions, it is a Must Read for adoptive parents, and a life line for parents of a RAD child.
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I felt the first half ti be immensely helpful, and worth 4-5 stars. But ss the book continued, it began to feel long and drawn out. The second half felt like a repackaging of love & logic, without the conciseness. I recommend The Connected Child and Love & Logic over this.
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“As a group, attachment-challenged children need to be looked at differently. This is a group of children who have experiences and fears of being separated from parent figures. Until they can rebuild some of their emotional security, their time in child-care must be restricted.” 1 likes
“Unless challenges stand in the way, children naturally respond to trustworthy, nurturing, and sensitive parents by forming a trusting and secure relationship.” 0 likes
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