Children’s Adoption Books

Children’s Books Involving Adoption 

Note: This list is not all-inclusive, nor is it static. I’ll continue to add books to it; so when you stumble on something you like, drop me a line so we can continue to craft this resource. The last section of books are 1) titles readers recommended in a list format with no specific comments, 2) some titles I’m aware of and own, and 3) titles I haven’t read myself but wanted to include in the interest of crafting both a comprehensive source and a jumping-off point for those interested in hunting down adoption-related titles. If you find that something listed here isn’t accurately represented or doesn’t mention an element to the story that others should know, please let me know. If you discover something new here and love it, share that, too! Happy Reading!

Reader-Recommended Books (in no particular order):

“We See the Moon” by Carrie A. Kitze; recommended by Dawn: “Great chapter book about adoption from the perspective of the first family — specifically the little sister of the woman planning to place in an open adoption.” It’s “heart-wrenching” and “a positive view of a loving family and a loving first mom.”

“The Tummy Mummy” by Michelle Madrid-Branch; recommended by Jenna 

“A Mother For Choco” by Keiko Kasza; recommended by Susan, Amanda, and Diane, who also recommends (as do I!) New Jersey’s Tapestry Books, an independent bookshop (no big corporation here, thankyouverymuch!) that focuses on adoption.

“Pugnose Has Two Special Families” by Karis Kruzel (Mouse; open adoption) recommended by  Poor_Statue and Heather

“Twice Upon A Time: Born and Adopted” by Eleanora Patterson; recommended by Susan: “It’s nice because it deals with an older child getting adopted and also discusses foster adoption.”

“I Don’t Have Your Eyes” by Carrie Kitze; recommended by Susan: “Very good — each two-page spread focuses on how connections can be biological or not. (I don’t have your eyes … but I do have your way of looking at the world.)

“Happy Adoption Day” by John McCutcheon; recommended by Heather

“The Day We Met You” by Phoebe Koehler; recommended by mamagigi (”You Felt Like the Sun Shining Inside Us”), Heather

“How I was Adopted” by Joanna Cole; also recommended by Heather

“Little Miss Spider” by David Kirk; recommended by Susan; (Spider can’t find her mother, and Beetle Betty helps to look for her, to no avail. Spider realizes Betty is the one taking care of her all along and she’s the mom she needed.)

“The Colors of Us” by Karen Kaz; “The Red Blanket” by Eliza Thomas; recommended by trixieintransit

Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story About Open Adoption by Laurie Lears; recommended by Dawn 

“The Three Names of Me,” by Mary Cummings; recommended by Sara: This is “one of my favorites — and one that is very respectful of first families.”

“Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born” by Jamie Lee Curtis; recommended by Amanda and Susan

Families Are Different” by Nina Pellegrini; “On The Day You Were Born” by Debra Frasier: The latter is not an adoption book, per se, but beautifully shares what happened on the earth the day a child was born. (While you waited in darkness, tiny knees curled to chin, the Earth and her creatures with the Sun and the Moon all moved in their places, each ready to greet you the very first moment of the very first day you arrived.)
recommended by Alice-Anne; mamagigi, too — I often give this as a new baby book.


Additional Adoption Books For Children
(Some suggested by readers, others I knew, and even others
I culled by searches and cannot personally vouch for.
But check them out and keep in touch with your feedback!) 

“Pablo’s Tree” by Pat Mora (Granfather buys a tree when he learns his daughter is adopting, and waits to plant it until his grandson arrives. Each year, his grandson spends his birthday with grandpa, who decorates the tree each year in a special theme and re-tells the story of how he came to the family.)

 “Mommy Far, Mommy Near: An Adoption Story” by Carol Anotoinette Peacock (told from the adopted child’s perspective; China)

“All About Adoption: How Families Are Made & How Kids Feel About It” by Marc Nemiroff and Jane Annunziata (mamagigi: Discusses for children — in a gentle way — birthparents and adoptive parents, their concerns and feelings, the process and how ultimately their paths cross, as well as acknowledging the varied thoughts, fears and feelings kids have at different ages. The book includes a Notes For Parents at the end with challenges, tips and guidelines for discussion.)

“And Tango Makes Three” by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (Two male penguins raising daughter, Tango)

“Horace” by Holly Keller (Animal story: Horace is spotted, his family is striped. He sets off to find others who look more like him. In the end, he realizes family isn’t about matching.)

“Lucy’s Family Tree” by Karen Halvorsen Schreck (Mexico adoption; Lucy’s homework assignment to make a family tree teaches her that all families are unique.)

“The Mulberry Bird” by Anne Braff Brodzinsky (Mother bird trying to ensure the best care for her baby. Author updated the 1986 edition 10 years later to better reflect open adoption and birthfamilies.)

“Place in My Heart” by Mary Grossnickle (Animal story; Charlie wonders if he looks like his birthparents, if they think about him. He learns there’s room in his heart for everyone he cares about.)

“Sam’s Sister” by Juliet C. Bond (When younger sibling is placed for adoption.)

“We Adopted You, Benjamin Koo” by Linda Walvoord Girard

“A Koala For Katie” by Jonathan London (After a visit to the zoo, Katie worries about the baby koala if mama koala can’t take care of it. She “adopts” a stuffed koala, like her parents adopted her, and cares for it.)

“Did My First Mother Love Me” by Kathryn Miller

“The Best Single Mom in the World: How I Was Adopted” by Mary Zisk

“I Love You Like Crazy Cakes” by Rose Lewis

“Every Year on Your Birthday” by Rose Lewis (sequel to Crazy Cakes)

“Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale” by Karen Katz; (According to Susan, listed above, this book “kind of elides the first parents all together, which is hugely irritating, but we stop and talk through things as we read.”)

“Rosie’s Family: An Adoption Story” by Lori Rosove (A beagle adopted by schnauzers, with questions about fitting in.)

“Let’s Talk ABout It: Adoption” by Mr. Rogers

“Mama’s Wish/Daughter’s Wish” by Debbie and Brynne Blackington; (China; both mother and daughter contribute to story)

“Giant Jack” by Birte Muller (Story of mouse who is different than his siblings; his mom explains why and how he is special)

“Oliver” by Lois Wickstrom (Animal story of alligator thinking about his birthparents; winner of ReadAmerica! collection)

“Our Twitchy” by Kes Gray (bunny family)

“Beginnings: How Families Come To Be” by Virginia Kroll (Myriad examples of ways families are created: international, foster, birth, etc.)

“Anthony’s Surprise” by Roz Grace (Bi-racial adoption)

“Is That Your Sister?” by Catherine and Sherry Bunin (Multi-racial)

“Brown Like Me” by Noelle Lamperti (African-American girl, Caucasian parents — child looking for all things brown in her life so she can celebrate her favorite color.)


6 responses to “Children’s Adoption Books

  1. Hi Gretchen,

    I’d like to tell you about a children’s book I wrote and illustrated, called Welcome Home, Forever Child: A Celebration of Children Adopted as Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Beyond. I wrote it after we adopted our daughter at age four, and found that most children’s adoption books reflect infant adoptions. It offers a loving message of reassurance and permenance, and has been endorsed by the following adoption experts:
    – Foster Cline (co-author of Parenting with Love and Logic)
    – Regina Kupecky (co-author of Adopting the Hurt Child and Parenting the Child)
    – Mary Hopkins-Best, author of Toddler Adoption: The Weaver’s Craft
    – Jayne Schooler, co-author of Telling the Truth to you Adopted or Foster Child

    Mary Hopkins-Best wrote, “This book provides reassurance to children and parents that a lifetime of memories can be created regardless of the age at which a child joins his or her forever fmaily. The rhymes and delightful illustrations will appeal to children from toddler age through middle childhood”. For more information, people can visit my website at Gretchen, if you’d be interested in reviewing the book I’d be happy to send you a copy.

    Thanks and have a great day!
    Christine Mitchell

  2. Susan

    I’m looking for the title of a book I read to my boys 18 years ago. It was about a woman who moved from the city to the country because she loved the peace and quiet. But it was too quiet in the country. So she adopted a boy. It was still too quiet, so she adopted another boy. With the wonderful chaos that boys bring to a family, she was happy again. Please, somebody, what is the title? It is an old book, in black and white, and that’s all I remember.

    • Anna

      Susan, the book you’re looking for is “The Little Woman Wanted Noise” by Val Teal, first published in 1943.

  3. George Harrar

    Just came across your web site and wanted to alert you to a novel I wrote for ages 9-13 about a 12-year-old boy adopted from foster care into a family whom he tests and retests before finally settling in. The book is called “Parents Wanted,” published by Milkweed Editions, and it received great reviews from many sources, including being called a “killer read” by Kirkus. Parents Wanted has also been featured on many adoption websites, such as Mass. Adoption Resource Exchange, ComeUnity, etc. There are numerous reader reviews on to check out. My wife and I are the adoptive parents of a boy at age 11, and I drew from our experiences for the plot, of course, while respecting our son’s privacy. (Actually, he thought I should have just told his story completely). I’ve had great letters from young readers as well as adoptive parents and love responding. Thanks for making people aware of the adoption resources available.

  4. Pingback: Adoption books for children

  5. Teresa

    Looking for an older book about an adopted boy whose actual birthdate was unknown…so they chose the day he stepped off the plane as his birthday celebration date. Can anyone help? Thanks

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