The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting – Book Review


From the Cover of The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting: Practical Advice and Strategies to Help with Emotional and Behavioral Challenges by Sophie Ashton:

“Are you in the process of adopting and feeling out of your depth? Do you already have an adopted child and are feeling overwhelmed?

Sharing the secrets that will enable you to face the challenges of adoptive parenting with confidence, Sophie Ashton offers tips and strategies which have worked for her family. She discusses preparing for the journey ahead, parenting with empathy, facilitating your child’s attachment, helping your child feel listened to, and providing structure and consistency in order to successfully integrate your child into your family and go on to have a stable happy family life.

An honest and reassuring account of what it can really be like to be an adoptive parent, this practical hands-on guide will help you prepare for the highs and lows of being a parent and give your child and your family the best chance to flourish.”


5 hoots out of 5

Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 5 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 We Thought:

The target audience of this book is potential or existing adoptive parents. Ideally, this book would be read prior to bringing a child home as it’s very preparatory in nature. The author adopted through the foster care system in the UK, and her experience will be particularly relevant for those adopting children from foster care or orphanages worldwide and a little bit less applicable to those adopting an infant domestically.

Of all the books I have read written for adoptive parents, I would have to say this ranks among the very best. Sophie Ashton honestly and thoroughly addresses issues not frequently written about, such as the emotional struggles adoptive parents face and frequent causes of adoption disruptions. We feel facing those issues head on and not sweeping them under the rug is the best way for adoptive parents to feel supported and understood, to adequately prepare them for what they may face, and ultimately, to prevent disruptions.

As an adoptive parent herself, Sophie shares the experiences of herself and other adoptive families (with case examples provided with names changed) and passes on information and tips that they wish they had known. Her advice is practical and includes scripts that can easily be used by others from the time of beginning preparations, to meeting your child and transitioning them home, to life afterwards. While a few specifics of the process may differ if you do not live in the UK, these play just a very small role in the book, and the overall ideas apply no matter the country.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. Is there any advice you might add to this book?
  2. What are some takeaways you definitely want to implement?
  3. What new information did you learn in this book?
  4. Are there any tips or strategies you disagree with in this book?


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