Guest Author - Reviewed by Karen Ledbetter
Through her informative and helpful book, Dr. Burns’ experience and expertise guide hopeful adoptive parents through a safe and fast adoption.
Dr. Burns discusses topics including readiness to adopt, adoption budgets, adoption professionals, homestudies, preparing adoption portfolios, advertising, using the internet, talking with potential birth mothers, warning signs of risky or fraudulent situations, and much more.
The chapter on adoption budgets outlines the expenses to expect, as well as ways to defray adoption expenses. The chapter on adoption professionals thoroughly and realistically discusses adoption attorneys, agency adoptions, and adoption facilitators. Dr. Burns includes a list of questions to ask adoption professionals and suggestions on selecting the appropriate adoption agency. This chapter includes guidelines for avoiding fraud by an adoption professional and/or birth parent.
I especially liked the chapter on homestudies. Dr. Burns explains the documentation required, as well as what types of questions to expect. You don't want to overlook the sample homestudy in the book's appendix!
Once the homestudy is complete, the next step is to locate a birth mother. Dr. Burns discusses advertising in depth, as well as pointers for handling the initial phone call and building rapport with a potential birth parent. According to Dr. Burns, rapport will set the stage for a productive relationship with your caller(s). She also suggests about a dozen questions to ask during the initial phone conversation, as well as topics that hopeful adoptive parents should avoid completely (let your adoption professional ask these).
Once a birth mother had contacted you, she may request to meet you. Dr. Burns discusses things to consider while planning meetings and/or sharing information with your potential birth mother. When a commitment is made, there are certain things that need to be done before the baby’s arrival. These may include travel arrangements, hospital arrangements, and naming the baby, as well as what needs to be done after the baby is born but before s/he comes home with you.
I truly enjoyed reading this book, even though I’m not currently pursing adoption. The author ended each chapter with a checklist of highlights from the chapter, which I found unique and helpful. The book’s appendix included a listing of print and online adoption resources, publications, listing of state adoption units, newspaper resources (for advertising), and a sample homestudy.
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, this book is available at Amazon.com.