Blood may be thicker than water, but water is equally important to live. Foster care and adoption is not a new issue and with the advent of more and more individuals and couples yearning to have children and break the stereotypical model family, the rate of happy children should be increasing.

Perfect for soon-to-be and at-present foster parents, and children who grew up in foster care, the Best Fostering & Adoption Memoirs of All Time tackles different stories of newfound love in a stranger’s home. This list features narratives told from the perspectives of a foster mother, father, and children who sought love and gave it where it lacked the most. These books are a compelling list of heartbreak and joy, structured by a dark past, healed by a warm heart, which ultimately resulted in a brighter future.

Heartbeat of My Life, by Julie Evans

Heartbeat of My Life by Julie Evans is a courageous, insightful tale of her and the many Forgotten Australians who were placed in the state’s child welfare system for reasons often unexplained.

The Forgotten Australians is a collective term for groups of people who grew up in foster homes in the 20th century. This book is one inspiring tale crafted not only to finally let Julie’s story be known, but to educate, reach out, and hopefully make a difference in other people’s lives. It tells the truth about her traumatic childhood filled with abuse, neglect, and misunderstandings which were omitted from her government files.

Taking a better look at Julie’s story is plunging deeper into the story of many others who were like her in one way or another.

One Small Boat, by Kathy Harrison

Daisy was a five-year-old child with a speech impediment when she came to Harrison’s home. With her birth mother’s refusal to take care of her, it was up to Harrison to try and heal the emotional scars of Daisy with a family’s love abounding in her foster home.

One Small Boat is a memoir written by Kathy Harrison about one of her most loved and equally most challenging kids she had ever nurtured. This account explores the struggle and joy of being a foster parent; of loving and giving your heart to someone who is not biologically yours and will someday leave. It tells a story of a parent’s triumph when her child – real or adopted – grows from her past traumas and learns to live her life filled with love.

Three Little Words, by Ashley Rhodes-Courter

Taken from her mother at the age of three, Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s life started spiraling out of control and into the helpless shuffle of caseworkers, schools, and foster homes. At a young age, you would expect things to always take a turn for the worse, but Ashley did not only live through it all. She has learned to thrive. This is the book where she finds her voice.

The story of Three Little Words started as a winning essay piece by Ashley. After being published, it soon came to be a popular read for foster parents and children, and those into learning about the child welfare system. What these three little words are, Ashley will soon tell you, only if you grab a copy of this wonderful memoir.

Everything You Ever Wanted, by Jillian Lauren

What or who is it that holds everything you ever wanted? Jillian Lauren answers this question in this sensational memoir.

When Jillian and her husband adopted an Ethiopian child who has special needs, they soon learned what the power of love truly meant. Parents will relate as she recounts how she stopped at nothing and fought her way to keep her son safe from this cruel world.

Sometimes, you save a child by adopting them. Most times, it is the child who saves you. Everything You Ever Wanted invites you to delve into the wonders of foster care and the realities of adopting. With the perfect balance of humor and life’s sorrows, Jillian will take you on a journey full of ups and downs as she tells the story of how she achieved everything she ever wanted.

Another Place at the Table, by Kathy Harrison

How much more can you give when you have already given so much? To Kathy, the answer may just be infinite.

Another Place at the Table is Kathy Harrison’s debut memoir about her life as a foster parent. Besides caring for children that come with scars and go away with a piece of her heart, Kathy is forever tied to her family of seven. However, this story revolves around how three new kids arrived to take another place at Harrison’s table and how they almost destroyed it.

If you want an equally emotional and detailed briefing about what you should expect when you start to foster care, this book is perfect for you. For those already in the system, Harrison’s story will be a comfort and assurance that you are not alone.

Motherhood So White, by Nefertiti Austin

Foster parents go through similar experiences, but never the exact same. The challenges of parenting become even more difficult when you are an innocent victim of racial division and differences. Motherhood So White tackles the struggles and triumphs of Nefertiti Austin, a single Black mom raising her adopted child in a world that demands answers to the never-ending questions of identity and worth.

With this book, Nefertiti aims to amplify the voices of non-White mothers who have their struggles and wisdom to share about parenting. While love is universal, Nefertiti asserts that the honest narratives of mothers coming from different backgrounds are essential to ensure that children of different races will get the care and guidance they need.

Open your eyes to a more diversified account of parenting with this beautiful, inclusive book.

Luck Times Two, by Sandra Wilson

Luck Times Two by Sandra Wilson is a coming-of-age story told in two parts: the mother and the child. It is a memoir of the life of then 12-year-old Fu Shuang who was born in the period of China’s one-child policy driving millions of girls into adoption and foster care.

Fu Shuang who came to be called Sierra, came to America courtesy of her new foster family without any knowledge of the foreign culture and language. She went and overcame learning difficulties and bullying with her positive attitude and care of her foster family. Eventually, she grew up to be a teacher and coach, sharing the love she received from the family you are about to meet.

Get this book and read about a beautiful and inspiring tale of love and life by Sandra and Sierra Wilson.

We, by Ben Barnz

Ben Barnz tells the story of his path to parenthood with his husband, a filmmaker, Daniel Barnz. We is a memoir narrating the adoption of his daughter and the legal fight that came against his daughter’s father a day after her birth. Coincidentally, this life-changing battle also started two days prior to the historical 9/11.

Challenging gender bias and the stereotypical structure of a modern family, this book begins with the closeted background of Ben as a youth whose risk of getting AIDS was more likely than being a father in the future. But with persistence and passion, he did become a father. It is a delightful and honest tale that celebrates gender diversity, forgiveness, and love.

Read more about the Barnz couple’s parenting journey by getting this book and navigating through its crisp pages.

She Turned Her Head Away, by Patricia Moffat

She Turned Her Head Away is one book on this list that is different from the others in the way that Patricia Moffat wrote about her season of finding her roots and gaining reconciliation from her biological family.

When Patricia became a mother of two, she felt a need to seek who she really is, and, in her search, she found her birth mother. This joyful reunion, however, brought a great deal of stress to her adoptive mother who felt protective and scared of Patricia being taken away from her.

This memoir by Patricia explores the conflicts and rewards of looking and finding out your origin and the answer to one’s question of identity. This brings light to an adoptive child’s right to discover what they feel was lacking without taking for granted what they were blessed with.

Mamalita, by Jessica O’Dwyer

Jessica O’Dwyer became menopause at the young age of 32. Married but childless, she came across the picture of a two-month-old baby girl from Guatemala on an adoption website. Feeling instantly connected with the child, she did everything she could to bring the baby to their home in California.

Mamalita is the story of how Jessica and her husband, Tim, dealt with the dubious adoption process of their child, Stefany. The agency who was supposed to help them adopt the child was disappointing and from it comes the dreadful, heart-breaking tale of fighting for parentage.

This no-holds-barred story is a must-read for potential foster parents who are in for a fight of their lives. Jessica’s narrative will motivate you to keep going despite everything, especially if the fight is for that one special child.


Sometimes, all you need is a friend to tell you that you are doing fine. If a book can do that, then, by all means, get it. Read it with your partner or with someone who understands you best. Who knows? Maybe it can even lead you to a welcoming community that understands what you are currently experiencing.

The process of adoption is never an easy journey to take alone. So, with this list of the Best Fostering & Adoption Memoirs of All Time, you can cry, laugh, and be inspired to keep going. You can do it for love’s sake.

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