Lifebooks are creative ways to help children connect their past with their present situation and better understand their lives and histories. They can also help children solidify their understanding of their permanent roles in their adoptive families. Find resources in this section that describe creating lifebooks for children who are adopted.
Resources and tips for creating lifebooks
Adoption Lifebook: A Bridge to Your Child's Beginnings: A Workbook for International Adoptive Families
Probst (2004) (3rd edition)
Describes how to prepare lifebooks and directs parents through the process of writing about sensitive subjects with honesty, focusing on the child's and caregivers' strengths.
Adoption Lifebooks: Do's and Don'ts (PDF - 142 KB)
Describes how to compile a lifebook of an adopted child's history, including his or her birth, birth parents, reasons for adoption, and the adoptive family.
Before You Were Mine: Discovering Your Adopted Child's Lifestory
TeBos &Woodwyk (2007)
Guides parents in developing a lifebook for their adopted child. Chapters suggest themes of imagination, truth, honor, and exploration; the book includes reflective questions and writing exercises.
Here I Am! A Lifebook Kit for Use With Children With Developmental Disabilities
Outlines strategies and provides simple pictures to help developmentally disabled children understand why they do not live at home with their families. The kit may be used by social workers, therapists, residential and mental health staff, foster parents, and adoptive parents.
Lifebooks: Creating and Telling Your Child's Story
Adoption Learning Partners
Explains the purpose of a lifebook and the need for parents to start or to continue to develop one. The free course also identifies the components of a lifebook and the situations that may benefit from its use. The course also helps parents develop pages for the lifebook.
Adoptive Families (2009)
Offers tips, resources, tutorials for adoptive and foster families for making lifebooks, memory books, and digital and paper scrapbooks.
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (IFAPA) (2009)
Helps create opportunities for talking about the circumstances of the foster care and/or adoptive placement. IFAPA created these pages to allow a child to choose the pages that fit his or her style. They are available for free downloads.
My Awesome Life
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois
Provides a lifebook at cost to help celebrate a child’s life and journey of adoption.
"My Story": Sample Lifebook for a 6-Year-Old (PDF - 848 KB)
Describes the birth and adoption story of a 6-year-old Chinese girl, including her understanding of why she was adopted and her feelings about her birth and foster families. Photos, text, and questions are included as well as space for drawings.
For When I'm Famous: A Teen Foster/Adopt Lifebook
Elicits personal information and thoughts from teens in foster care. Adolescents are asked what they would like their next birthday party to be like, their favorite things to do, facts about their birth family, why they were in foster care, and more.