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Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past
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Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Telling a child he or she is adopted can be a trying task, but this is only the first step. After becoming aware that he or she is adopted, the child will question the details of the adoption. The truth may reveal details that are painful and sometimes traumatic: a parent is in prison, a drug addict, or even a rapist. In Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child, K ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published July 30th 2000 by Praeger
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, adoption
This was a wonderful book of practical advice on how to communicate difficult information to your foster and adopted children. I love how they break down different types of scenarios they may have led to the child being placed into foster care and/or adoption (physical abuse, substance abuse, mental health, etc, etc), and then the breakdown of ages and what type of information is appropriate to share at that age. A great reference as we move through these stages.
Kelly DiBenedetto
Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child is one of our favorite books at Boston Post Adoption Resources to recommend to adoptive parents, foster parents, caretakers and mental health professionals looking to expand their knowledge of adoption. Authors Betsy Keefer Smalley and Jayne E. Schooler created this resource in order to shed light on the importance of adoptees knowing their story and removing any stigma of shame or secrecy around adoption. The book serves as an excellent guide fo ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Cons: Odd tone at times (esp. CH 1 which was heavy handed) and repetitive in both content and style.

Pros: CH 5, 6, 7, 9, & 13 contained some nuggets of useful info (but not much that couldn't have been summarized in bullet points or fact sheet). Other CH might prove helpful to other readers based on their adoption situation (foster, transracial, older child, newborn, etc).

The authors clearly have a depth of knowledge with the field, but this wisdom did not warrant 288 pages.

Also, it is my s
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A must-read for adoptive parents at any stage in the process of parenting their adopted children. It offers practical, age-specific guidance on how to tell adopted kids the truth. And the truth is what we must tell them. Always the truth. Some of the anecdotes were a bit corny and/or dated, but otherwise a very useful book.
Naomi Kenorak
This book is recommended a lot and in general I agree that it is a very good book. I especially liked the detailed examples given of specific types of difficult birthfamily information (including birthparent prostitution, addiction, etc.) and how to explain each type to children at different ages. There is also excellent information on how children are processing information at different ages and “translations” for the hurtful things they may say to their adoptive parents at different stages. It ...more
Dec 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book gives practical advice about how to discuss the hard facts related to a child's placement or adoption (particularly issues like abuse, incest, substance abuse, etc). The book points out that adoption is one of the only relationships that begins with a loss of everyone involved. The chapters about specific language to use related to developmental stages were particularly well written. There are some annoying editing errors. Several pseudonyms were reused throughout the book, sometimes m ...more
R Smith
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adoption-reads
This is one of the best books I have read so far on how to have an open relationship with your adopted children about their past and their biological relatives. It was helpful to have it broken down into age group what a child is able to understand about adoption. I loved reading the scenarios and found the sample conversations for each age group interesting and helpful..I will using this book as a tool to have conversations with my son as he grows and is ready for more information about his pas ...more
Betsy Dion
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, adoption
This book was assigned reading from our agency. It has a good message (tell the truth to your kids about their past) and some great information about how to broach sensitive topics. By the end of the book, it felt really repetitive, but I think this book will be a good resource to go back to.
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This book had some good tips and many good points but I think that talking to professionals who actually know my kids is the most helpful way for me to figure these things out. That being said, it's always good to hear that our situation isn't the only one like it in the world.
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adoption
Important ideas of ways to communicate difficult things to adopted children. Also good notes of behavior patterns to watch for.
Note to self: Buy this book! Refer back to chapters 5-9 & 12.
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm going to need this.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Best adoption book I've read so far. Actually useful.
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