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Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child

by Patty Cogen Harvard Common Press; $14.95



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Who will my child be? How will she behave?"

"My child is here. I don’t feel that I am doing anything right. Will it get better?"

Do these questions seem familiar? Whether parents are in anticipation, or in the trenches, of raising a family, Patty Cogen responds to common questions with warmth and wisdom in Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child (Harvard Common Press; $14.95).

Based upon her research and clinical practice, and her own experiences as the parent of an internationally adopted child, Cogen’s book is encyclopedic in scope and human in tone. Cogen draws on the families who have attended her "First Year Home" groups to create five composite children and their parents. Through their stories, she offers practical help for everything from language learning to sleep problems, and provides explanations that will help parents reframe troubling behaviors in light of a child’s early life experiences.

Cogen’s discussion of an adoptee’s four key questions—What happened to me? Who will take care of me now? Did I make the big change happen? Will everything change again, and will I lose you, too?—is especially helpful. She advocates telling the adoption story from the child’s point of view, and provides an excellent overview of the child’s understanding of adoption at different ages.

Reviewed by Joyce Laudon, a member of Spence-Chapin’s adoption counseling team, who’s worked with adoptees and adoptive parents for nearly 30 years.

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