Adam Pertman, President of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency and author of Adoption Nation
Keeping Your Adoptive Family Strong combines all the essential elements that make up an important book - knowledge, insight, experience, honesty, and heart-into one very accessible and readable volume. I believe it will genuinely help a lot of people, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to professionals and families alike.
Vicky Kelly PsyD, MSW, MHA Director, Delaware Division of Family Services
Although adoption offers the hope of a "forever family", naïve good intentions and wishes for happy ever after can leave families alone in - and blamed for - their predictable crises. The authors provide a balanced approach that honestly explores the challenges and risks - while still offering reassurance and hope - by highlighting strategies that can help resolve traumatic reactions and forge resilient connections. This book should be a must read for anyone involved in adoption, whether as a parent or professional.
Janis Spire, President and CEO, Alliance for Children’s Rights, Los Angeles
With Keeping Your Adoptive Family Strong, Keck and Gianforte deliver a timely and incredibly helpful resource for those beginning the journey of adoption and professionals working in the field. The book gives an honest look at what to expect when adopting from foster care, and it is armed with realistic - rather than romanticized - expectations that give parents the keys to successfully overcome the inherent challenges. Consistent with our organization's experiences working within the largest foster care system in the U.S., Keeping Your Adoptive Family Strong shows that adoption won't be easy, but is a journey well worth taking for anyone with room in their heart to change the course of a child's life.
Missy Hokanson, adoptive mother
Keeping Your Adoptive Family Strong: Strategies for Success is a valuable tool for prospective adoptive parents. Traumatized children often bring with them more than anyone can see. This book brings all possibilities to the forefront. It is a true and real account of what adoptive families may endure as they adjust to creating and becoming a family. Having adopted three children, two of whom experienced trauma in their young lives, my husband and I consider this book a godsend. Adoption is an incredible journey, and resources such as this will benefit not just parents, but adoptive children, as well-helping them understand where they came from and what they bring to their new families.
Caroline Archer, adoptive parent, therapeutic parent mentor and co-author of Reparenting the Child who Hurts: A Guide to Healing Developmental Trauma and Attachment
Keck and Gianforte speak directly, with great honesty, empathy, wisdom and humour, to those most closely involved in adoption: adopters themselves and their professional supporters. They attempt to unpick the myths, misconceptions and misplaced attributions of blame surrounding the placement and support of children and adolescents in adoptive families. Their practical, user-friendly, no-nonsense approach goes right to the heart of what it means, and how it feels to be, or to live with, a traumatised child. There are challenging lessons for all of us which the warmth, love and hard-hitting humour of the authors allows us to 'hear' and accept - to set in motion the systemic and personal changes needed for adopted youngsters to rebuild their lives and thrive.
Deciding to adopt a child shouldn't be a quick, spur of the moment decision, according to Dr. Gregory C. Keck and L. Gianforte. In fact, adopting a child, especially one who has experienced early childhood trauma, should be done only after careful consideration and preparation. Keeping Your Adoptive Family Strong identifies the many ways prospective adoptive parents should prepare themselves for parenting a child from difficult early beginnings and the tough subjects that should be considered before a child ever enters the home. The book identifies the changes that occur in a developing brain when trauma occurs whether from abuse, neglect, malnutrition or many other traumas. It also discusses ways to prepare of a child's arrival, how to navigate challenges after a child arrives and how to address the many ups and downs in between. The book also dedicates a chapter to adopting adolescents, an important consideration for many prospective adoptive parents to consider as the number of healthy infants available for adoption both domestically and internationally dwindles. Reading Keeping Your Adoptive Family Strong is not for the faint of heart. Far from the rainbows and unicorns addressed in some adoption-related books, this book is a reality check much needed for prospective adoptive parents. Considering the tough parts of adoption before a child enters the home could save a family from a lot of heartache and a child from a dissolved adoption. The authors include personal stories of the struggles, heartaches and challenges some families have faced which highlights how better preparation, more resources and additional supports could have helped adoptive families work through the tough times more easily. Keeping Your Adoptive Family Strong also provides tips and tools for parents to use when they experience various behaviors. At the end, the book is filled with stories on how the power of love and perseverance also overcame many challenges for the children and families, as well as a chapter written completely by adoptees. This book gives voice to so many players in the adoption community. Not only is Keeping Your Adoptive Family Strong a good read, it's also a great piece of work from the great therapist and founder of the Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio Greg Keck, who died in 2015. It is hoped that the wisdom he shares in the book will continue to be passed on to adoptive families for generations to come so they learn from his decades of dedication of working with children and families touched by foster care and adoption.