10 New Adoption-Themed Books To Add To Your Reading List

This guest post is by Rachel Garlinghouse, an adoptive mother and author.

As an avid reader, especially of books featuring adoption themes, I’m an advocate of considering the intricate and interesting points of view of different adoption triad members: the birth parents, the adoptee, and the parents-by-adoption.

Here are 10 new adoption-themed books to consider curling up with this fall.


Born With Teeth: A Memoir by Kate Mulgrew

Actress Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager and Orange Is the New Black) got pregnant at age twenty-two and placed her daughter for adoption. This memoir outlines Mulgrew’s struggles with her own parents and siblings, her career, and the restlessness of her decision to place her daughter for adoption.


What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir by Alice Eve Cohen

Alice Cohen’s life is going well: she’s engaged, she’s raising the daughter she adopted, and her career is flourishing. But one day she finds out she’s six months pregnant during a CAT scan for her abdominal tumor.


Everything You Ever Wanted: a Memoir by Jillian Lauren

Jillian Lauren, a former drug addict, concubine, and college dropout, is now married and waiting to adopt her first child from Ethiopia. With brazen honesty, Lauren shares pieces of her past, the obstacles she faces adopting, and the challenges she faces as a mom-by-adoption to a brown-skinned boy with special needs.


Life is Short (No Pun Intended): Love, Laughter, and Learning to Enjoy Every Moment by Jennifer Arnold, MD, and Bill Klein

TLC’s “little couple,” Jennifer and Bill, share the story of their childhoods, their meeting, their marriage, and adopting their two children internationally. The memoir is honest, funny, and refreshing.


Bald, Fat, & Crazy: How I Beat Cancer While Pregnant With One Daughter and Adopting Another by Stephanie Hosford

Stephanie Hosford is a mom of one and wife who discovers, almost simultaneously, that she has breast cancer and is pregnant while she is waiting to bring her daughter home from China. Hosford documents her journey: fighting cancer, giving birth to her daughter, and bonding with her toddler born in China.


Jazzy’s Quest: Adopted and Amazing! by Carrie Goldman and Juliet Bond

Jazzy is a transracial adoptee who takes readers through her journey of choosing what talent she should showcase in an upcoming show. The book brings up open adoption, transracial adoption, foster care adoption, and adoptee identity. (This is a book for grade school children.)


Encouragement for the Adoption and Parenting Journey: 52 Devotions and a Journal by Rachel Garlinghouse 

I share fifty-two devotions with readers based on the author’s personal experiences with the intersection of faith and adoption and parenting struggles. The back of the book has ample journaling space for the reader.


Conquering Chaos by Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra

Teen Mom stars Catelynn and Tyler’s memoir shares the story of getting pregnant as teens and placing their daughter for adoption, all documented on the reality show. The couple also discuss their chaotic childhoods and their commitment to stay together and thrive in a healthy relationship.


God and Jetfire: Confessions of a Birth Mother by Amy Seek

Seek, who is in her early twenties, finds out she’s pregnant and goes on a long quest to find the right adoptive parents for her unborn son. Seek’s memoir takes readers through the heart-wrenching journey of the incredible love a birth mother has for her child, and she explores the unique intricacies of open adoption.


Orphan #8: a Novel by Kim van Alkemade

Rachel Robinowitz is just four years old when she is placed in an orphanage after her mother’s murder. Chapters alternate between the past and the present, including when Rachel, presently a nurse, comes face to face with the orphanage doctor who used Rachel and her peers for medical experimentation.

Rachel Garlinghouse is the author of four books, including the newly released Homeschooling Your Young Black Child: A Simple Getting-Started Guide and Workbook.  She is a mom of three by domestic, infant, transracial adoption.  Rachel is former college writing teacher turned part-time homeschooling mom and writer.  Learn more at White Sugar Brown Sugar

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