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What is Adoption?

Helping Non-Adopted Children Understand Adoption

By Sofie Stergianis and Rita McDowall

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Review by Allison Martin

What is Adoption? is a well informed and unique children's book which teaches children and adults about adoption. Through a question and answer format, it nicely demonstrates positive use of adoption language. A young girl learns that her close friend is adopted when her friend shares her adoption life book. She has many good questions about adoption which her mother proceeds to answer. She learns that adoption is one way of forming a family, about the different types of adoptions, and whether this makes her friend "special". Questions addressed in this book will be familiar to many adoptive families, such as why was her friend adopted, might her birth parents take her back, and so on. She also learns that adopted famliies can look different from each other, and that adoptions can happen for many different reasons.

The book is a useful education tool or teachers who are discussing adoption in early elementary grades. This book is also quite useful for children who are adopted, as it helps provide them with affirmative ways to discuss adoption with their friends, or even uninformed adults. The amount of well meaning but ignorant approaches to adopted children is legion, and it is wonderful to have another tool for adoption education.

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