learning about adoption

If you are pursuing adoption, you are embarking on one of the most rewarding but challenging of your life’s experiences. During the process of becoming approved to adopt, you can expect to spend substantial time reflecting on how you found yourself pursuing adoption, your hopes for your future self regarding the kind of parent you wish to be, and challenging your own understanding of adoption and it’s impact on you, an adoptee and your core group of friends and family. While you may not be required to complete education to adopt, to do so without is truly a missed opportunity for you as a potential parent and the child you wish to adopt. 


We encourage you to lean into this process. Parenting a child who you come to know through adoption is NOT the same as parenting a biological child. The educational experiences captured below are designed to prepare you for the path of adoptive parenting so that you can show up as the parent your adoptee needs to develop with confidence and connection. 


All of the opportunities listed here have been vetted and come highly recommended by the Absolute Love Adoptions team. 


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Core Topics


The Adoption Connection

In this episode, we talk honestly about grief surrounding foster care and adoption through the lens of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's Five Stages of Grief, plus an additional sixth stage.


Today Janet Nordine, MS, LMFT teaches us all about grief. Perhaps some of the anger you’ve been experiencing is actually masking some deep grief. We talk about disenfranchised grief and why we think it is a critical topic for adoptees to understand.



The astonishing untold history of the million and a half women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade.

American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Secret History of Adoption

The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other.


Gabrielle Glaser is the author, most recently, of American Baby: A Mother, A Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption, which tells the shocking truth about postwar adoption in America through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their lifelong search to find each other.


Inclusive Family Support Model

This animated short video provides an easy-to-understand explanation of openness in adoption and the Inclusive Family Support Model (IFSM), the country’s first practice model specifically designed to support adoptive parents in creating a spirit of openness for the benefit of adoptees.

Adoption: The Long View Podcast

The Long View Podcast, Episode 101 In this episode, Lori Holden talks with single adoptive mom Leah Campbell about the unexpected way she became a mom to her beloved daughter, "Cheeks," now 7. Author of the just-released children's book The Story of My Open Adoption, Leah is a writer and mom who lives in Alaska and talks about the challenges of maintaining an open adoption with Cheeks' family, and why Leah is so committed to doing so. She tells how she is cultivating openness with her daughter, doing her own ongoing inner work so that Cheeks feels there is nothing she can't talk with Leah about.


If you’ve ever wondered how you could have an open adoption when you can’t have contact with birth parents, you’ll want to make sure to catch this episode with adoptive parent counselors Katie Biron and Kara Andersen.

Inside Mental Health Podcast:

What exactly is open adoption? Is it psychologically healthy for the child and adoptive parents? Are there lingering fears, like the birth parents will come back to “steal” away the child? Today’s guest, Dawn Friedman, an expert on adoption, breaks down the research, shares her experiences, and addresses the fears biological parents often have.

The Open Hearted Way To Open Adoption


Exploring Adoption and Identity: #BornandMade

Exploring Adoption and Identity: #BornandMade "As a trans-racially adopted person I think about my identity a lot; consciously and unconsciously exploring who I am in some way every day. Sometimes this exploration is light and fun, sometimes it is deep and painful, and sometimes it is somewhere in between. Recently, a campaign from Carol's Daughter (one of my favorite natural hair care brands) encouraged their community to explore identity in a clever way that captured all of these different feelings." -April Dinwoodie

Amanda Woolston, Adoptee and LCSW

Amanda maintains an excellent Instagram with consistent content about adoptive identity. You can also find her content on The Declassified Adoptee

We're Adopted Lucky Us?

Born In June Raised In April Podcast: We're Adopted Lucky Us? A Conversation With Susan Ito. Host April Dinwoodie sits down with an amazing women, writer, editor, performer, teacher and adopted person, Susan Ito. Together they discuss the complex realities around what it means to be lucky in adoption as well as the importance of documenting narratives in adoption.


From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee.


Learn about the significant of the checklist when deciding the preferences for the child you are looking for who you would be a good fit to parent.

Teratogen Information Specialist

Asking Questions That Count When Considering Adoption by Kirstie Perrotta, MPH, a a Teratogen Information Specialist at MotherToBaby California.


Therapy For Black Girls Podcast Session 207: Transracial Adoptions 

Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, interviews Judith Sadora, LMFT about identity formation and what this might look like for a child who is a transracial adoptee, what it might look like to hold space for both gratitude and grief as it relates to adoption, things to consider about reuniting with biological family, and she shares some of her favorite resources for anyone wanting to learn more. 

Cultural Resource Manual

This booklet will help you understand the importance of race and culture for your family; and share helpful hints, parenting tips and resources for you on the culturally rich journey of transracial parenting. Building your child’s sense of racial identity, connecting your child to his or her culture and race, and preparing your child to deal with discrimination are important and often intimidating parenting tasks.


Rebecca Carroll grew up the only black person in her rural New Hampshire town. Adopted at birth by artistic parents who believed in peace, love, and zero population growth, her early childhood was loving and idyllic—and yet she couldn’t articulate the deep sense of isolation she increasingly felt as she grew older.

What White Parents Should Know about Transracial Adoption


Tori DiMartile

Tori DiMartile writes about what it actually takes to raise an adoptee.


The Adopted Baby As A Blank Slate

Adoption: The Long View Podcast; 111: The Adopted Baby As A Blank Slate Thoughts Today’s guest -- who consulted about adoption themes for the Hulu series Little Fires Everywhere -- wrote an article many years ago that goes viral just about every year. The article is called 10 Things Adoptees Want You to Know, and within it, Lesli Johnson, adoptee and therapist, hits at so many of the things we adoptive parents need to, well, know. Lesli Johnson, MFT, explores with me two concepts in infant adoption: (1) the newborn as a “blank slate,” and (2) the nature vs nurture argument. This is an episode you don't want to miss.


A kinder, more compassionate world starts with kind and compassionate kids. In Raising Good Humans, you’ll find powerful and practical strategies to break free from “reactive parenting” habits and raise kind, cooperative, and confident kids.

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Clinical psychologist Jean Cheng joins Janet to discuss the puzzling, painful, and self-defeating feelings that our children's behaviors can bring up in us as parents.

S2 Ep 10: How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes with Author Melinda Wenner Moyer

Melinda Wenner Moyer is a contributing editor at Scientific American magazine and a regular contributor to The New York Times, Washington Post, and other national magazines and newspapers. She is a faculty member in the Science, Health & Environmental Reporting program at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes is her first book.


We talk often on this show about attunement in adoptive parenting, which is the process of intuiting in the moment what your child needs from you. The first step is to understand as best you can the perspective of an adoptee.


The Absolute Love Podcast shares birth parent voices. Listen to: Michelle, Lauren, Kristin,  Leah, Mallory…

Twisted Sisterhood Podcast

Guest Episode: Erika Gonzales A podcast for birth moms, by birth moms. Ashley Mitchell and Kelsey Vander Vliet Ranyard have a decade between their adoption placements. They address raw and real emotions and experiences, and have other birth mom guests on the show to join in on the conversation.


At twenty-one years old, Hope O Baker made one of the hardest decisions a person can make: she placed her son for adoption. She lived with her son’s adoptive mother while she was pregnant and pursued an open adoption. After her son was born, Hope tried to resume her life.


Kristen, from Minnesota, was a multi-sport athlete in high school, even competing while pregnant with her daughter. She tells the story of giving birth, placing her daughter, then needing years to get her life back on track.



In this episode, we talk with Ashley Mitchell about the grief cycle of a birth mother. As a birth mother of 13 years, her vulnerability and transparency is refreshing and so helpful to so many of us in the adoption community.



I was born and adopted in the District of Columbia in 1965. I am currently an attorney and the founder of Adoptee Rights Law Center, where I represent adult adopted people on issues related to birth records, identity documents, and U.S. citizenship.


When prospective adoptive parents indicate that they are only interested in adopting a specific gender, some questions and concerns arise.



How we see ourselves as adoptive parents is intricately tied with how we see our children via adoption, and ultimately how they see themselves. Seemingly heroic narratives like “saving a child” and seemingly innocuous ones like “we were meant to be together” may have unintended effects that parents don’t see on the front end -- until after damage has been done.


This podcast will focus on adoption—what it is, what it isn’t and how to talk to kids about it when emotions and fear and love and hope are all wrapped up in it. There is some confusion about adoption and as an adoptive mother of my two kids, I’m excited to bring Carrie Goldman, adoptive mom and writer/founder of the adoption blog, Portrait of Adoption, on How to Talk to Kids about Anything today.

psychology today article

Children’s curiosity about their adoption story is a normal part of growing up. Open and informative discussions are crucial for the development of your child’s sense of self.


One of the major developmental tasks for any child is the forming of his or her self-definition. Much of this task is done on a subconscious level and over a great deal of time. The personal self-definition a child develops will be greatly affected by her family legacy: a legacy that includes all of the traits she acquired through heredity (all her genetic traits) as well as what she sees, hears, feels, or is told about herself and her family as she grows up.

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