Book Reviews – Approaching Fatherhood: A Guide for Adoptive Dads and Others

Approaching Fatherhood: A Guide for Adoptive Dads and
Paul May, BAAF
ISBN 1903699657, £9.95


To my knowledge this is the first book in the UK to combine the
experiences and perspectives of adoptive fathers with a guide to
the adoption process, writes Sheila

Written in a personal and easily accessible style, the author (an
adoptive father himself) draws on the experiences of the adoptive
fathers he interviewed in the course of his research.

He acknowledges the limited parameters of the book and states that
it is “aimed at men in heterosexual relationships who do not
typically have birth children in their families prior to adopting”.
There are hints of quite traditional male/female roles that may
reflect the nature of the sample.

The book provides a window into the world of adoption from the
adoptive father’s perspective. There will be insights here that
will resonate for adoptive fathers in more diverse situations.
There is a moving account of the “roller coaster” of feelings
adoptive fathers may experience during the assessment and
preparation period and early days of placement.

This is therefore a welcome addition to the literature which will
be of particular benefit to prospective adoptive parents. However,
it will also enable family placement staff to ask whether their
methods of assessment and training are sensitive to issues of

Sheila Thompson is senior lecturer, University of

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