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Book Review: Step-parent Adoption: A Resource Handbook
By Tim O'Hanlon, PhD
Reviewed by Nancy Borders, LCSW , Stepping Stones staff member
Step-parent Adoption-A Resource Handbook is a concise and to the point resource guide for stepparents thinking about adopting a stepchild. The book is divided into state profiles on stepparent adoption, giving clear instructions on how to go about the process and covering such basic issues as the procedures of adoption, the rights of grandparents and second parent adoptions. Additionally, the reader is given web sites for additional information and necessary documents.
While the author recognizes that adopting a stepchild can be a positive step (enhancing feelings of belonging, for example) he also recognizes that "adoption does not bestow a sense of 'us' between stepparent and child where none existed before." While covering many areas, this is not a book that delves deeply into the psychological impact of adoption. Such issues as grief and loss, birth parents, or divided loyalties are only briefly touched upon. It is, however, a sound and helpful book for those parents who feel they have an understanding of such issues and are ready to take the next step.
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