I am often asked what advice to give to singles or couples thinking about adopting. My best answer, in a nutshell is this: RESEARCH. This can take many forms, not just reading books, although I list some books here that are great resources.
When I hear about adoptions being disrupted, the core reason is usually that the parents didn't research enough to know what to expect so they could envision what they could reasonably handle. To avoid that, research everything to do with adoption beforehand, because even though there's a lot you can't learn beforehand, there's a LOT of information you CAN learn and it's very useful.
ADOPTION WEBSITES -- I like Adoption Voices, and Adoption Under One Roof, but there's also Adoption.com, and FRUA [Families of Russian and Ukrainian Adoptees]. You can look on agency websites too, but they don't always have accurate information. For instance, one agency said I couldn't adopt from Kazakhstan as a single if I already had a child and that wasn't true legally, it was just the agency's bias.
YAHOO GROUPS -- I belong to a number of different groups. Most groups will allow you to join even if you're just in the "thinking about it" stage. You can get a good idea of the process and challenges by reading what other parents are going through. There are groups for adopting from just about every country in the world; domestic adoptions; special needs adoptions; older child adoptions [although I find some of these groups too negative], etc. I belong to these groups: Single Russian Moms [we aren't Russian but we adopted from Russia or one of the former Soviet republics]; Adoptive Parents of Children With Limb Differences; Ark Families [for families who used Adoption Ark]; Petro Parents [for families with kids adopted from Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan].
BLOGS -- There are tons of blogs out there, no matter where you adopt from, even if you adopt domestically. Some of them end once the adoption is done and the child is home. For ones that are ongoing and informative, look on my list of websites here on my blog.
Tapestry Books is a good source for adoption books.
I have not read all of these but a lot of parents have found them very useful.
Beyond, Logic and Control by Heather Forbes and Brian Post -- I read this and it's excellent. All older adopted kids have issues and they teach you how to handle them in a loving, effective way.
Attaching in Adoption, by Deborah Gray -- I read this and it's terrific. Attachment must be the #1 concern for every parent who adopts.
Toddler Adoption, The Weaver's Craft, by Mary Hopkins-Best [many many folks have found this useful]
These are some recommendations from another parent that I trust:
'Building the bonds of Attachment' by is great. Reads like a novel, has a happy ending and I learned a TON. Its easier to read since most attachment books are like textbooks. I really started to understand attachment by reading this. Here's a link
I also like both Deborah Gray's books:
Attaching in Adoption
Also like this 'Adoption Parenting' resource book, not just for attachment, but for other issues you may encounter in parenting:
If you are adopting from Russia or Kazakhstan you will probably find my books informative, just from a Been There Done That perspective. Look on Amazon for Jack's New Family and Adopting Alesia: My Crusade for My Russian Daughter.