What Does Adopted Mean? - A young child's guide to adoption


By Edith Nicholls

Large format wiro paperback, 80 pages

Published 2005

Under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, all adoption agencies should provide adopted children and children with a best interest decision of adoption, with a guide to adoption.

This unique, illustrated, interactive guide is for professionals and adoptive parents to provide information and explanations of why some children are unable to live with their birth families and the legal complexities of the process to adoption. It is aimed at:

  • children under the age of 8
  • older children with learning difficulties or conceptualisation problems

It is child friendly and uses age appropriate language to explain the complexities of the reasons for their separation form birth families, and the decision for them to be adopted. It also encourages children to question, seek answers and reveal their wishes and feelings.

A cartoon character guides the child through various stages and talks with the child through the text. This character is a child who has been through the process of being looked after in temporary care, being placed for adoption and then adopted. His own experience uses a combination of a number of true case studies in order to offer a wide spectrum of likely experiences, feelings and scenarios, and thereby to highlight significant issues.

The book can be fun as well as helpful with what children most want to know and what most concerns them. It helps children escape form feelings of blame and guilt, and includes what the author calls "a kind of reward section for the child with lots of praise". Adults who have to undertake the difficult task of explaining adoption matters to children will find the book surprisingly easy to use in the way in which it simplifies 'the telling' without diminishing it's importance.


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