Support for Adoptive Families

Let’s Celebrate Adoption!

Over twenty years ago, Michigan mental health and social workers began noticing a truly disturbing trend: at that time, it was relatively easy (they reported) to find placements for children who needed families.  But what they saw happening with increasing frequency was broken adoptions: adoptive families returning—or even abandoning!—their new children.  A great proportion of these children ended up in the mental health system.

This phenomenon was reported in other states as well.  And a number of adopting parents made an interesting observation: their biological families rejected them and their adopted children, but their religious congregations became surrogate relatives, engaging in activities and behaviors that comforted and celebrated these families.

A number of agencies decided that something must be done to reverse the heart-breaking broken-adoption trend. These agencies included the Michigan Department of Mental Health, and the US Department of Health and Human Services. (For further details, see below.) A writer experienced in adoption issues was hired to write four books, targeted at various religious and ethnic groups. She traveled the state of Michigan—and, in the case of one Indian Nation—spoke with Canadian tribal members. She met with groups of professionals, religious leaders, adoptive parents, and anyone concerned by the broken-adoption phenomenon. Each group was involved every step of the way, studying each draft and making suggestions—and corrections. The entire process took over three years.

These books were created in an attempt to promote adoption preservation. While certain details (such as addresses and telephone numbers) may have changed over the years, the core content of these books remains as fresh and relevant as it was when they were written.

 We hope you will find these books helpful.



Jumoke! Everyone Loves the Child: A Guide to Adoption Support for African American Christians © 1994 by Carolyn Flanders McPherson

Let’s Celebrate Adoption! A Guide for the Jewish Community © 1993 by Carolyn Flanders McPherson and Hillel (James E.) Rosenfeld

Our Native American Child: A Guide for Those Who Adopt and Their Supporters © 1994 by Carolyn Flanders McPherson and Jeremy Mario Minton

¡Viva la adopción! A Guide to Adoption for Hispanic Christians and Their Congregations © 1993 by Carolyn Flanders McPherson and Maria Ruggiero

Print versions are available for a nominal charge from Amazon at : 

The views expressed in these books are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Michigan Department of Mental Health.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

These guidebooks were written for the Michigan Post Adoption Services System.  They were funded in part by: Adoption Opportunities Grant #90-CO-0553 awarded to the Michigan Department of Mental Health by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families; by the Michigan Department of Mental Health; and originally printed with a grant from an anonymous benefactor.