Books About Intercountry Adoptions


The Adoption Papers
by Jackie Kay
Jackie Kay tells the story of a black girl's adoption by a white Scottish couple- from three different viewpoints: the mother, the birth mother, and the daughter. Adoptee Author: Jackie Kay

Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age
Edited by Laura Dennis
This anthology gives voice to the wide experiences of adoptees and those who love them; examining the emotional, psychological and logistical effects of adoption reunion. Primarily adult adoptee voices, we

Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists
Edited by Janine Myung Ja, Michael Allen Potter, and Allen L. Vance
This anthology begins with personal accounts and then shifts to a bird’s eye view on adoption from domestic, intercountry and transracial adoptees who are now adoptee rights activists. Along with

After the Morning Calm: Reflections of Korean Adoptees
Edited by Sook Wilkinson, PhD, and Nancy Fox
Korean adult adoptees speak out in this anthology. Through memories, reflections, and poetry, adoptees speak to the range of issues that accompany adoption: feelings of belonging and difference, self and

An-Ya and Her Diary
by Diane René Christian
An-Ya and Her Diary chronicles the journey of a fictional eleven-year-old adoptee from China. Written in diary format, young An-Ya reveals her emotional journey as she is catapulted from a

An-Ya and Her Diary: Reader and Parent Guide
Edited by Diane René Christian
Professional adoptees discuss all aspects of the novel An-Ya and Her Diary. Included are lessons on how to lead an adoption discussion, how a parent can use the novel to

An Australian Son
by Gordon Matthews
Autobiography of Gordon Matthews. Adopted at birth, he grew up in the 1950s in middle class Kew. Through a series of circumstances Matthews came to believe he was of Aboriginal

Back to My Roots: My Journey to China
by Yanina Verplanke
“Happy Life is starting from this moment” This slogan is written on the wall of the Chinese adoption bureau of Chongqing. It is quite applicable to the seventeen-month-old toddler De Xing

Ballerina Dreams: From Orphan to Dancer (Step Into Reading, Step 4)
by Michaela DePrince and Elaine DePrince
At the age of three, Michaela DePrince found a photo of a ballerina that changed her life. She was living in an orphanage in Sierra Leone at the time, but

Black Anthology: Adult Adoptees Claim Their Space
Edited by Susan Harris O'Connor, MSW; Diane René Christian; Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman, PhD
People who identify as Black adoptees are vaguely known within both adoption circles as well as universal discussions. We are just beginning to be introduced to one another. This anthology

Borya and the Burps: An Eastern European Adoption Story
by Joan McNamara, illustrated by Dawn Majewski
In recent years more children have been adopted from Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former Soviet Bloc countries than from any other region of the world. Yet until now, there

The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption
by Kathryn Joyce
Adoption has long been enmeshed in the politics of reproductive rights, pitched as a “win-win” compromise in the never-ending abortion debate. But as Kathryn Joyce makes clear in The Child

Cooper's Lesson
by Sun Yung Shin, illustrated by Kim Cogan
Cooper caught his reflection in the window. Brown hair, fair skin, and some freckles. Grandmother Park always said, "Such white skin!" and Grandmother Daly always said, "What brown skin!" One

Cries of the Soul: The True Story of a Korean Adoptee's Fight to Survive
by Khara Niné
In 1970, shortly after the death of her mother, and without the consent or even the knowledge of her father, a barely one year old girl is put up for

Dear Wonderful You: Letters to Adopted & Fostered Youth
Edited by Diane René Christian and Mei-Mei Akwai Ellerman, PhD
A powerful book filled with thoughtful and inspiring letters. This anthology was written by a global community of adult adoptees and adults who were fostered. Each letter was penned to

Different Racisms: On Stereotypes, the Individual, and Asian American Masculinity
by Matthew Salesses
In Different Racisms, Matthew Salesses explores the unique racism Asian Americans face, including the model minority myth, the impact of Jeremy Lin’s fame on Asian American representation in national media,

Dust of the Streets: The Journey of a Biracial Orphan of the Korean War
by Thomas Park Clement
Autobiography of a half and half Korean boy born in the middle of the Korean War found at age 5 on the streets of Seoul, post war, adopted into the

The English American: A Novel
by Alison Larkin
When Pippa Dunn,adopted as an infant and raised terribly British, discovers that her birth parents are from the American South, she finds that "culture clash" has layers of meaning she'd

Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir
by Jillian Lauren
In her younger years, Jillian Lauren was a college dropout, a drug addict, and an international concubine in the Prince of Brunei’s harem, an experience she immortalized in in her bestselling memoir,

Flip the Script: Adult Adoptee Anthology
Edited by Diane René Christian, Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, and Rosita González
Flip the Script: Adult Adoptee Anthology is a dynamic artistic exploration of adoptee expression and experience. This anthology offers readers a diverse compilation of literature and artistry from a global

From Home to Homeland: What Adoptive Families Need to Know before Making a Return Trip to China
Edited by Debra Jacobs, Iris Chin Ponte, and Leslie Kim Wang
Every year, hundreds of adoptive families embark on homeland trips to China and other countries. Homeland trips offer great opportunities for helping adopted children develop a coherent narrative that makes

Fugitive Visions: An Adoptee's Return to Korea
by Jane Jeong Trenka
Trenka’s award-winning first book, The Language of Blood, told the story of her upbringing in a white family in rural Minnesota. Now, in this searching and provocative memoir, Trenka explores

Gardening Secrets of the Dead
by Lee Herrick
Memory, history, family, the future: these are the preoccupations of Lee Herrick's Gardening Secrets of the Dead. Adoptee Author: Lee Herrick Publication Year: 2012 Adoptee Reviews:  Other Reviews: 

Ghost of Sangju: A Memoir of Reconciliation
by Soojung Jo
Ghost of Sangju takes readers through Soojung’s childhood in Kentucky filled with joy, family, friendship—and the loneliness of being marked as an outsider even in her own home. Alternating between

Global Families: A History of Asian International Adoption in America
by Catherine Ceniza Choy
In the last fifty years, transnational adoption—specifically, the adoption of Asian children—has exploded in popularity as an alternative path to family making. Despite the cultural acceptance of this practice, surprisingly

How to Greet the Mother Who Bore You (A Short Story)
by Matthew Salesses
Before Teddy and his parents moved to Korea, the adopted nine-year-old knew almost nothing about his birth mother. But once they arrive in Seoul, the boy begins to scan the

The Hundred-Year Flood
by Matthew Salesses
In the shadow of a looming flood that comes every one hundred years, Tee tries to convince himself that living in a new place will mean a new identity and

I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children
Edited by Sara Dorow
A collection of anonymous letters written by Korean birth mothers to the children they relinquished for adoption. The mothers were helped by the Ae Ran Won agency in Seoul, Korea,

Invisible Asians: Korean American Adoptees, Asian American Experiences, and Racial Exceptionalism
by Kim Park Nelson
The first Korean adoptees were powerful symbols of American superiority in the Cold War; as Korean adoption continued, adoptees' visibility as Asians faded as they became a geopolitical success story—all-American

It's Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion, and Open Adoption
Edited by Brooke Randolph, MA, NCC, LMHC
The title of this book can be both inflammatory and comforting; different people need to read it different ways. The reality is that the desire for information has nothing to

Kids Like Me in China
by Ying Ying Fry (with Amy Klatzkin)
In this first view of China adoption from a child's perspective, eight-year-old Ying Ying Fry returns to her orphanage to remember what it is like and to write a story

Kimchi & Calamari
by Rose Kent
There are worse things in the world than being adopted. But right now Joseph can't think of one. Joseph Calderaro has a serious problem. His social studies teacher has given

The Language of Blood
by Jane Jeong Trenka
With inventive and radiant prose that includes real and imagined letters, a fairy tale, a one-act play, crossword puzzles, and child-welfare manuals, Trenka recounts a childhood of insecurity, a battle

Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment & Peace
Edited by Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston, Julie Stromberg, Karen Pickell, and Jennifer Anastasi
A collection of writings by the authors of the Lost Daughters blog. The Lost Daughters mission is to bring readers the perspectives and narratives of adopted women, and to highlight their

Lucky Girl
by Mei-Ling Hopgood
In a true story of family ties, journalist Mei-Ling Hopgood, one of the first wave of Asian adoptees to arrive in America, comes face to face with her past when

Marilyn
by Amanda Ngoho Reavey
Amanda [Ngoho] Reavey's first book, Marilyn, began as an exploration through somatic experiments on what it means to stay and became a fragmented map of the immigration system, the international

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love
by Xinran (translated from Chinese by Nicky Harman)
Following her internationally bestselling book The Good Women of China, Xinran has written one of the most powerful accounts of the lives of Chinese women. She has gained entrance to

My Fathers' Daughter: A Story of Family and Belonging
by Hannah Pool
What do you wear to meet your father for the first time? In 2004, Hannah Pool knew more about next season's lipstick colors than she did about Africa: a beauty

Outer Search Inner Journey
by Peter Dodds
In this riveting memoir a woman in post World War II Germany relinquishes her infant son Peter to an orphanage where he's adopted by American parents and brought to the

Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption
Edited by Jane Jeong Trenka, Julia Chinyere Oparah, and Sun Yung Shin
Outsiders Within reveals that while transracial adoption is a practice traditionally considered benevolent, it often exacts a heavy emotional, cultural, and even economic toll. Through compelling essays, fiction, poetry, and art,

Paper Pavilion
by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Winner of the White Pine Press Poetry Prize. Paper Pavilion captures the theme of transnational adoption and a powerful search for a personal history and identity from Korea to America. Adoptee

Parenting As Adoptees
Edited by Adam Chau and Kevin Ost-Vollmers
Through fourteen chapters, the authors of Parenting As Adoptees give readers a glimpse into a pivotal phase in life that touches the experiences of many domestic and international adoptees--that of

Perpetual Child: Dismantling the Stereotype
Edited by Diane René Christian and Amanda H.L. Transue-Woolston
A collection of stories, poems, and essays aimed at confronting the "perpetual child" stereotype faced by adult adoptees. The pieces contained within this anthology implore readers to look deeply into

Red Dust Road
by Jackie Kay
From the moment when, as a little girl, she realizes that her skin is a different colour from that of her beloved mum and dad, to the tracing and finding

Romania For Export Only: The Untold Story Of The Romanian Orphans
by Roelie Post
The untold story of the Romanian 'orphans' gives an insider’s look into the adoption kitchen, where the most used ingredients are political pressure and emotional blackmail. A nexus of adoption

A Single Square Picture: A Korean Adoptee's Search for Her Roots
by Katy Robinson
At seven years old, Katy Robinson is adopted by a Salt Lake City, Utah, couple. Twenty years later, she returns to Seoul, Korea, to reconnect with her birth family and

Songs of My Families: A Thirty-Seven-Year Odyssey from Korea to America and Back
by Kelly Fern with Brad Fern
In 1971, Lee Myonghi, aged five, was taken from her family and placed in a Korean orphanage. Six months later, she was flown to the United States, where she and

Star of the Week: A Story of Love, Adoption, and Brownies with Sprinkles
by Darlene Friedman
It's Cassidy-Li's turn to be Star of the Week at school! So she's making brownies and collecting photos for her poster. She has pictures of all the important people in

Strangers and Kin: The American Way of Adoption
by Barbara Melosh
Strangers and Kin is the history of adoption, a quintessentially American institution in its buoyant optimism, generous spirit, and confidence in social engineering. An adoptive mother herself, Barbara Melosh tells

The Swan Garden
by Anne Biggs
The Swan Garden tells the story of a young woman who survives a brutal assault and rape, gives birth in a mother baby home, and the abuse she receives in the Magdalene Laundry.

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
by Michaela DePrince with Elaine DePrince
Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that

Tapioca Fire
by Suzanne Gilbert
Tapioca Fire opens when Susan tries to solve the mystery of a missing parent only to uncover a greater crime. Susan Piper was adopted years ago in Thailand. A once-in-a-lifetime career

Ten Thousand Sorrows
by Elizabeth Kim
"I don't know how old I was when I watched my mother's murder, nor do I know how old I am today." The illegitimate daughter of a peasant and an

This Many Miles from Desire
by Lee Herrick
The haunting music of Lee Herrick's This Many Miles from Desire reflects the quest of the poet, an adoptee, to understand his place in the world: "one more child found

The Tip Jar: Follow One Woman's Journey of Being Adopted and Finding Her Way Back Home
by Viorica Culea
Viorica Culea was adopted from Braila, Romania, in 1995. Unfortunately, she was adopted by an abusive alcoholic; her adoptive father never protected her from her mother’s drunken rage. On top

To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption
by Arissa H. Oh
To Save the Children of Korea is the first book about the origins and history of international adoption. Although it has become a commonplace practice in the United States, we

The Translation of Han
by Hei Kyong Kim
The Translation of Han is a collection of poetry and prose about the spiritual, psychological, personal and political aspects of historical and intergenerational trauma amongst a people; it explores issues

Unbearable Splendor
by Sun Yung Shin
Finalist for the Believer Poetry Award Sun Yung Shin moves ideas—of identity (Korean, American, adoptee, mother, Catholic, Buddhist) and interest (mythology, science fiction, Sophocles)— around like building blocks, forming and

The "Unknown" Culture Club: Korean Adoptees, Then and Now
Edited by Janine Myung Ja, Jenette Moon Ja, and Katherine Kim
This collection serves as a tribute to transracially adopted people sent all over the world. If you were adopted, you are not alone. This book validates the experiences of anyone

Vietnamese.Adopted: A Collection of Voices
by Indigo Willing, Anh Đào Kolbe, Dominic Golding, Tim Holtan, Cara Wolfgang, Kev Minh Allen, Adam Chau, Landa Sharp, Michael Nhat
Vietnamese.Adopted: A Collection of Voices is a group of writings each in their own form and style, un-censored in content or subject matter, allowing each person to speak on what

When You Were Born in China: A Memory Book for Children Adopted from China
by Sara Dorow
This book utilizes photographs to educate about life in China and includes information about Chinese social policies, orphanages, and the journey of an adopted child to the United States. Author: Sara