Adoption Is For Always-Book Review

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Synopsis of Adoption Is for Always by Linda Walvoord Girard:

Celia is a young girl whose parents have always spoken to her about how she was adopted, but she hasn’t fully understood what that meant. She is now at an age where the meaning of being adopted has dawned on her and has made her upset and created many doubts and questions in her mind. She’s understandably angry, sad, confused, and lashing out. She questions whether something is wrong with her. She fantasizes about her birthmother. She fears that her birthparents can come and take her away. Throughout the book, her parents, babysitter, and Sunday school teacher all reassure her and answer her questions. The book ends with the family deciding to add a yearly adoption day celebration.

Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book [#] Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

Our kids were quick to pick up on the outdated clothing and hair styles in the illustrations which match the 1986 publication date. The illustrations are realistic looking black and white drawings. The combination of illustration type and text length on each page would appeal to elementary age children with longer attention spans.

While Adoption Is for Always was likely cutting edge for its day as the parents in the story always talked to her about being adopted her whole life, we felt the book slightly minimizes the part of the birth parents in a way that does not match up to the best adoption practices of today. For example, the parents tell the child that her birthmother was only her mother for a short time. They also kind of glaze over the sad part of their daughter’s story when saying they read a letter from her birthmother that stated how sad she was to give her up and talk about how happy it was for them.

While this book does have its merits, we would suggest checking this book out from the library as we did rather than purchasing it. There are some good adoption truths in the book and reassurances to the child, but we’d like to see books with more up-to-date adoption language, more engaging illustrations, and more current best practices in talking to children about their stories.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. When did Celia’s parents first tell her she was adopted?
  2. What did “adopted” mean to Celia when she was young?
  3. How did that change?
  4. What were some of the questions Celia had about being adopted?
  5. What feelings did Celia go through?
  6. How old were you when you first understood what being adopted meant?
  7. How old were you when you were adopted?
  8. Do your feelings about being adopted ever confuse you?

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