Barker has curated a list of recommended adoption-related books, categorized by audience and specific interest area.

If you'd like to find out more about these books, most are offered for further review and purchase through Amazon. If you do decide to purchase online, don't forget to use AmazonSmile and choose The Barker Adoption Foundation as your preferred charity to support Barker. Also included below are Barker-curated volunteer opportunities and adoption therapists and psychiatrists.

Adoption Resources
  • A Koala for Katie, Jonathan London
  • A Mother for Choco, Keiko Kasza
  • Adoption is for Always, Linda Girard
  • Born From the Heart, Berto Serrano
  • Borya and the Burps: An Eastern European Adoption Story, Joan McNamara
  • Brown Like Me, Noelle Lamperti
  • Did My First Mother Love Me?  Kathryn Ann Miller
  • Double Dip Feelings, Barbara Cain
  • Families are Different, Nina Pellegrini
  • Forever Fingerprints: An Amazing Discovery for Adopted Children, Sherrie Eldridge
  • Happy Adoption Day! John McCutcheon and Julie Paschkis
  • How I was Adopted: Samantha’s Story, Joanna Cole  
  • How it Feels to Be Adopted, Jill Krementz
  • I Don’t Have Your Eyes, Carrie Kitze
  • I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, Rose Lewis
  • I Wished for You: An Adoption Story, Marianne Richmond
  • Kids Like Me in China, Ying Ying Fry with Amy Klatzin
  • Let’s Talk About It: Adoption, Fred Rogers
  • Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale , Karen Katz
  • Paloma the Possible, Gaily Toldtales
  • Rosie’s Family: An Adoption Story,  Lori Rosove
  • Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, Jamie Lee Curtis
  • The Mulberry Bird, Brodzinsky, Anne Braff
  • The Tummy Mummy, Michelle Madrid-Branch
  • Three Names of Me, Mary Cummings  
  • Welcome Home Forever Child, Christine Mitchell
  • When You Were Born in China, Sara Dorow
  • When You Were Born in Korea, Brian Boyd
  • Yes I’m Adopted, Sharlie Zinniger
  • Daddy, Papa, and Me, Leslea Newman
  • Felicia’s Favorite Story, Leslea Newman
  • Flying Free, Jennifer Gregg
  • In Our Mothers’ House, Patricia Polacco
  • King and King, Linda de Haan
  • Molly’s Family, Nancy Garden
  • Momma, Mommy, and Me,  Leslea Newman
  • Oh The Things Mommies Do! What Could Be Better Than Having Two? Crystal Tompkins
  • Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
  • The Different Dragon, Jennifer Bryan
  • The Family Book, Todd Parr
  • Two Dads, Carolyn Robertson
  • How I Became a Big Brother, David Moore
  • Jin Woo, Eve Bunting 
  • Adopted: The Ultimate Teen Guide (It Happened to Me), Suzanne Buckingham Slade
  • Adopted Teens Only: A Survival Guide to Adolescence, Danea Gorbett
  • All About Adoption: How to Deal with Questions of Your Past, Anne Lanchon
  • An-Ya and Her Diary, Diane Rene Christian
  • Pieces of Me: Who Do I Want to Be? Robert Ballard
  • Being a Birth Parent: Finding Our Place, Brenda Romanchik
  • Giving Away Simone: A Memoir, Jan Waldron
  • Out of the Shadows: Birthfather’s Stories, Mary Martin Mason
  • Saying Goodbye to a Baby: Birth Parents Guide to Loss and Grief in Adoption, Patricia Roles
  • The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe vs. Wade, Ann Fessler
  • The Other Mother: A Woman’s Love for the Child She Gave Up for Adoption, Carol Schaefer
  • The Third Choice: A Woman’s Guide to Placing a Child for Adoption, Leslie Foge and Gail Mosconi
  • Without a Map, Meredith Hall
  • Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents, Deborah Gray
  • Attaching through Loves, Hugs and Play, Deborah Gray
  • Adoption Parenting: Creating a Toolbox, Jean MaCleod
  • Making Sense of Adoption: A Parent’s Guide, Lois Melina
  • Lifebooks: Creating a Treasure for The Adopted Child, Beth O’Malley
  • Parenting Adopted Adolescents and Appreciating their Journeys, Gregory Keck
  • Raising Adopted Children: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent, Lois Melina
  • Real Parents, Real Children: Parenting the Adopted Child, Holly Van Gulden and Lisa Bartels-Rabb
  • Secret Thoughts of An Adoptive Mother, Jana Wolff
  • Talking with Young Children About Adoption, Lois Ruskai Melina
  • Talking with Your Child About Adoption, Patricia Martinez Dorner
  • Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child, Betsey Keefer and Jayne Schooler
  • The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family, Karyn Purvis and David Cross
  • The Whole Life Adoption Book: Realistic Advice for Building a Healthy Adoptive Family, Jayne Schooler and Thomas Atwood
  • Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft, Mary Hopkins Best
  • Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, Sherrie Eldridge
  • Twenty Things Adopted Parents Need to Succeed, Sherrie Eldridge
  • Adoption, Race and Identity: From Infancy to Adolescence, Rita Simon and Howard Altstein
  • Birth Marks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America, Sandra Patton
  • Come Rain or Shine: A White Person’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children, Rachel Garlinghouse
  • Cross Cultural Adoption: How to Answer Questions from Family, Friends and Community, Amy Coughlin and Caryn Abramowitz
  • Does Anyone Else Look Like Me? A Parent’s Guide to Raising Multiracial Children, Donna Nakazawa
  • I’m Chocolate You’re Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race Conscious World, Marguerite Wright
  • Inside Transracial Adoption, Gail Steinberg, Beth Hall
  • In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories, Rita Simon and, Rhonda Roorda
  • In Their Parents’ Voices: Reflections on Raising Transracial Adoptees, Rita Simon and, Rhonda Roorda
  • Prison Baby, Deborah Jiang-Stein
  • Because I Loved You: A Birthmother’s View of Open Adoption, Patricia Dischler 
  • Children of Open Adoption and Their Families, Kathleen Silber and Patricia Dorner
  • Dear Birthmother, Kathleen Silber
  • Making Room in Our Hearts: Keeping Family Ties Through Open Adoption, Micky Duxbury
  • Openness in Adoption: Exploring Family Connections, Harold Grotevant and Ruth McRoy
  • The Open Hearted Way to Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, Lori Golden and Crystal Haas
  • The Spirit of Open Adoption, James L. Gritter
  • Trues Stories of Open Adoption, Bruylane Hubbard Brosner and Anne Wrixon
  • You Belong, Ann Hoang
  • A Single Square Picture: A Korean Adoptee’s Search for Her Roots, Katy Robinson
  • Birthbond: Reunions Between Birthparents and Adoptees and What Happens After, Judith Geidman
  • Birthright: The Guide to Search and Reunion for Adoptees, Birthparents and Adoptive Parents, Jean Strauss
  • Ithaka: A Daughter’s Memoir of Being Found, Sarah Saffian
  • Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles and a Whole Lot of Mail, Caroline Clarke
  • Reunion: A Year in Letters Between a Birthmother and the Daughter She Couldn’t Keep, Katie Hern and Ellen McGarry Carlson
  • The Adoption Reunion Handbook, Liz Trinder, Julia Feast and David Howe
  • The English American, Alison Larkin
  • The Search: A Memoir of an Adopted Woman, Titia Ellis
  • Adoption Is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know, Patricia Irwin Johnson
  • In on It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You to Know About Adoption. A Guide for Relatives and Friends, Elizabeth O’Toole
  • Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self, David Brodzinsky, Marshall Schechter and Robin Henig
  • Parenting as Adoptees, Adam Chau and Kevin Oste-Vollmers
  • The Adoption Life Cycle: The Children and Families Through the Years, Elinor Rosenberg
  • The Family of Adoption, Joyce Pavao
  • Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from A Place of Empowerment and Peace, Edited by Amanda Transue-Woolston, Julie Strongberg, Karen Pickell, and Jennifer Anastasi
  • Questions Adoptees Are Asking, Sherrie Eldridge
  • Searching for A Past: The Adopted Adult’s Unique Process of Finding Identity, Jayne Schooler
  • Twenty Life Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make, Sherrie Eldridge
  • Why Didn’t She Keep Me? Barbara Burlingham-Brown
  • A Long Way Home: A Boy’s Incredible Journey from India to Australia and Back Again, Saroo Brierly
  • A Wealth of Family: An Adopted Son’s International Quest for Heritage, Reunion and Enrichment, Thomas Brooks
  • Beyond Good Intentions: A Mother Reflects on Raising Internationally Adopted Children, Cheri Register
  • China Ghosts: My Daughter’s Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood, Jeff Gammage
  • I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from Korean Birthmothers to Their Children, Sara Dorow
  • Love in the Driest Season, Neely Tucker
  • Once They Hear My Name: Korean Adoptees and their Journeys Toward Identity, Ellen Lee, Marilyn Lammert, and Mary Ann Hess
  • Make Me a Mother, Susan Antonetta
  • Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child, Patty Coge
  • The Year She Left us, Kathryn Ma
  • Voices from Another Place: A Collection of Works From a Generation Born in Korea and Adopted to Other Countries, Edited by Susan Soon-Keum Cox
  • Barker's 'Parenting Children with Specialized Needs Training,' available for families and professionals
  • Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special Needs Kids, Gregory Keck and Robin Kupecky
  • Adopting the Older Child, Claudia Jewett
  • Attachment Trauma and Healing: Understanding and Treating Attachment Disorder in Children and Families, Terry Levy and Michael Orlans
  • Building the Bonds of Attachment: Awakening Love in Deeply Troubled Children: Daniel Hughes
  • Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child, Trish Maskew
  • Damaged Angels: An Adoptive Mother Discovers the Tragic Toll of Alcohol in Pregnancy, Bonnie Buxton
  • The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family, Karyn Purvis and David Cross
  • The Mystery of Risk: Drugs, Alcohol Dependency and the Vulnerable Child, Ira Chasnoff
  • Prison Baby, Deborah Jiang-Stein
  • Wounded Children Healing Homes: How Traumatized Children Impact Foster and Adoptive Families, Jayne Schooler and Betsey Keefer Smalley
  • Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma, Deborah Gray
  • The Life Intended, Kristin Harmel
  • The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting, Sally Donovan
  • Three Little Words, Ashley Rhodes-Courter


  • Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens, Debbie Riley, and John Meeks
  • Brothers and Sisters in Adoption: Helping Children Navigate Relationships When New Kids Join the Family, Arleta James
  • Healing Parents: Helping Wounded Children Learn to Trust & Love, Michael Orlans, and Terry M. Levy 
  • Our Own: Adopting and Parenting the Older Child, Trish Maskew
  • Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow, Gregory C.  Keck, and Regina M.  Kupecky
  • Parenting Your Adopted Older Child: How to Overcome the Unique Challenges and Raise a Happy and Healthy Child, Brenda McCreight
  • Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child, Jayne E. Schooler, and Betsy Keefer
  • The Promise: The Story of an Adoptive Mother and a Support Worker, Christen Shepherd and Lisa Highfield
  • The Sexualized Child in Foster Care, Sally G. Hoyle
  • Three Little Words, Ashley Rhodes-Courter 
  • A Forever Family, Roslyn Banish and Jennifer Jordan-Wong
  • A Plan for Tyrone, Tamara Evanson
  • A Terrible Thing Happened, Margaret M. Holmes
  • Kids Need to Be Safe, Julie Nelson, Minneapolis
  • The Star: A Story to Help Young Children Understand Foster Care, Cynthia Miller Lovell
  • When I Feel Angry, Cornelia M. Spelman, Morton Grove
Kids Adopton Books

Financial Resources

Adoption fees have a wide range, and we know how stressful that can be.  Most adoption processes in international programs have fees spread out over a 24-48 month period, but domestic programs can be shorter.  We have created a financial resource page to ensure that your family has the resources you need in order to build your family through the program that is best for you. Go to the Financial Resource Page Now

Volunteer Opportunities

Aunt Hattie’s Place

Baltimore, Maryland
Group home for boys aged 15-19
Contact: Eric Fenwick, Executive Program Director at esf1965 [at] or 410-367-2472
Opportunities: Tutor, Recreational Assistant, Mentor, Cooking Instructor, Athletic Trainer, Art or Music Instructor

DHR – Maryland Mentoring Program

Anne Arundel County program matching volunteers with children in the local welfare system
80 West Street Annapolis, MD 21401
Contact: tanya.steele [at] or 410-269-4461
Volunteer mentors are matched with at-risk youth in the Child Welfare Program. Mentors are trained to work one-on-one and in-group settings with children in a structured year-long relationship

The Children’s Home

Residential center with long term and short term programs serving children ages 13-21
205 Bloomsbury Avenue Catonsville, MD 21228
Contact: Theresa Johnson at tjohnson [at]  or 410-744-7310
Volunteer Caregivers work directly with the children in such roles as mentors, tutors, or coaches; Volunteer Homekeepers help with projects and activities around the home, including maintenance projects, beautification projects, and special events.

The Children’s Guild

The guild serves children with trauma disorders, autism, and other disabilities
6802 McLean Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21234
Contact: Berit Killingstad, Development Coordinator at, 410-553-0428 ext. 231 or MissionAdvancement [at]
Volunteers can provide assistance with special events and assistance with remedial reading

Department of Juvenile Services – Maryland

Volunteer program working with youth that who have been involved with Maryland Department of Juvenile Services
One Center Plaza, 120 West Fayette Street, 2nd Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201
Contact: Melissa Alarcon, Community Services Coordinator at melissa.alarcon [at] or 410-230-3417
Opportunities to volunteer time with residential and community-based youth by leading activities like music workshops, self-improvement seminars, financial workshops, worship services, career development, computer training, and theatre and dance workshops.

Opportunities to mentor youth ages 9 to 19 who have had contact with DJS.

Jill’s House

Jill's House provides respite for children (ages 6-13) with intellectual disabilities and their families in the Greater Washington, DC, area
9011 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182
Contact: info [at]  or 703-639-5660
Jill’s house has many different volunteer opportunities to work with special needs children, like serving as pool aides and, pet therapy aides, and spending time with the children indoors or on the playground
Requires a year commitment  of serving two shifts a month

Alternative House

Abused and homeless children’s refuge offering a teen emergency shelter, homeless and young mother initiatives, and community-based services
Dunn Loring, VA 22027
Contact: Christine Bartell, Volunteer Coordinator  at Christine_Bartell [at] or 703-506-9191
Volunteer openings for Childcare Volunteer, Outreach Volunteer, Emergency Teen Shelter Volunteer, and Safe Youth Project Volunteer
These opportunities working directly with youth involve a formal application and interview process, a background check, a 6- to 12-month commitment, a regular schedule, and, substantial training.

Joy Ranch

A Christian children’s home providing a residential program and safe haven for children in crisis.
813 Joy Ranch Road, Woodlawn, VA 24381
Contact: Glenna [at] or 276-236-5578
Opportunities include teaching skills or hobbies to children in specific areas like arts and crafts, music, sports, or makeup, hair, and dress

  • Groups of children also need short-term recreational classes in sports, music, arts and crafts, etc. 

  • Help with on- the- job training such as cooking or working with animals

All volunteers are supervised by a staff member

NVFS – Northern Virginia Family Service

Private, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals and families find new paths to self-reliance and brighter futures
Contact: njordan [at] (Navara Jordan), Volunteer Coordinator, at 571-748-2536
Multiple volunteer opportunities with children available in the northern Virginia area with their various programs. Online volunteer orientation required and online database search for opportunities available

Alice C. Tyler Village

Residential treatment center for children run by Childhelp
23164 Dragoon Road, Lignum, VA 22726
Contact: 540-399-1926
Opportunities to: tutor, transport children to appointments, run educational, recreational and other activities for children, or interact with children on the grounds. 

Childhelp Children’s Center of VA (Fairfax)

Local chapter of the national organization aimed at the prevention and treatment of child abuse

Opportunities: Work one-on-one with an at-risk youth for one year. Help the Volunteer Program staff with its various duties, including planning events

 Visit participating schools and spend time reading with children

 Recruit and train volunteers to work with children in the "Kids in Court," helping children prepare for a very difficult experience.

Best Kids, Inc.

515 M Street SE #215, Washington, DC 20003
BEST Kids is a nonprofit  seeking to support children in D.C.’s child welfare system by developing and supporting one-on-one mentoring relationships with caring consistent adults
Contact: Cedric Loiseau, Mentor Recruiter at cedric [at] or at 202-397-3272
Mentors are matched with children in the D.C. welfare system for a minimum commitment of one year and 10 hours a month.

Childhelp – D.C. Chapter

Local chapter of the national organization aimed at the prevention and treatment of child abuse
Contact: Hugh Nystrom at hnystrom [at] or 865-637-1753
Playroom Volunteer: The Playroom Volunteer provides supervision and comfort to abused children in the playroom while they are receiving various services at the advocacy center.
Volunteer Mentor: Volunteer Mentors provide a positive influence in the lives of children who are at-risk. By providing companionship, emotional support and guidance, the mentor will help the child develop appropriate coping skills, enhance his or her self-esteem and teach the child how to develop healthy relationships. The mentor will also help with school work and encourage the child to complete school and set goals that may have once seemed impossible to obtain.

Fairfax Families4Kids

The Volunteer and Partner Services Program supports families with children who are at risk of abuse or, neglect or have been placed in foster care or with relatives
Contact: Krissa Sloane at 703-324-7751
Mentoring Program matches adults with children ages 5-12 to be a mentor a minimum of eight hours a month for one year; the mentors and mentees spend time together in the community and in monthly small group activities.


The D.C. Family and Youth Initiative is focused exclusively on helping teens in foster care make lifelong connections with caring adults
515 M Street, SE, Suite 217, Washington, DC 20003
Contact: 202-863-0975

Opportunities include becoming a mentor for a teen, committing to a two-year one-on-one mentoring relationship, and becoming a host parent. Host families provide a loving family environment for their teen on the weekends. The teen is incorporated into the normal family routine, and the host family also serves as an adoption advocate for the teen, helping to spread the word in their community about older-child adoption