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Adoptive parents often experience the double trial of emotional responses to infertility and to the process of adoption itself, called "excruciating labor with no end in sight," by one adoptive mother. Would-be adoptive parents cycle through grief, anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, and guilt-and back again. All of these emotions cloud decision-making, at exactly the time that adoptive parents are making life-altering, irrevocable decisions: whether to adopt at all, to adopt an older child or an infant, or to parent a child with developmental delays, as well as other pressing questions.

New empirical research by Kathleen Whitten, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and adoptive mother, and other experts in the field contradicts many of the outdated myths presented to parents and written about in widely-used adoption guides. Whitten separates fact from fiction and leads parents by the hand through the many emotional impacts the process involves. Written in a reassuring, conversational tone, the author tells parents when they should listen to their heart-and when practical considerations are too important to ignore. Each chapter features workbook section with constructive exercises and stimulating questions.

Adoptive parents do not need yet another book promising a "fast track" to a child or explaining how to collect documents. Instead, they need Labor of the Heart to help them through the difficult emotions and decisions about adoption.

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