Sharon’s Latest Book, with co-author Allison Davis Maxon
– released August 2022



FAMILY – released August 2022


Based on a hugely successful US model, The Seven Core Issues Workbook is accessible and
parent-friendly with brief explanations, activities and exercises.

The Seven Core Issues are Loss, Rejection, Shame/Guilt, Grief, Identity, Intimacy and
Mastery/Control. The workbook gives parents the ability to explore their own issues as well
as their child’s through various experiential exercise and activities. Parents can identify and
address their core issues in order to more effectively assist and support the child’s core

The workbook and its exercises allow for a variety of diverse groups to use the book with
ease, making it the essential tool for all individuals to grow and heal themselves and their


Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency, with co-author Allison Davis Maxon – released July 2019

Based on a hugely successful US model, the Seven Core Issues in Adoption is the first conceptual framework of its kind to offer a unifying lens that was inclusive of all individuals touched by the adoption experience.

The Seven Core Issues are Loss, Rejection, Shame/Guilt, Grief, Identity, Intimacy, and Mastery/Control. The book expands the model to be inclusive of adoption and all forms of permanency: adoption, foster care, kinship care, donor insemination and surrogacy. Attachment and trauma are integrated with the Seven Core Issues model to address and normalize the additional tasks individuals and families will encounter.

The book views the Seven Core Issues from a range of perspectives including: multi-racial, LGBTQ, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, African-American, International, openness, search and reunion, and others. This essential guide introduces each Core Issue, its impact on individuals, offering techniques for growth and healing.



For decades, I have been responding to these “seven core issues” as an adopted person, as a parent by adoption, as a poet. Now I imagine myself as a therapist trying to help someone in the adoption constellation. I would definitely want this book close at hand. Author: Penny Callan Partridge, Co-founder in 1973, Adoption Forum of Philadelphia

A beautifully-organized handbook, full of both strong, conceptual understandings and practical recommendations for living, surviving and thriving in this world of adoption. Author: Michael Trout, Director The Infant-Parent Institute

As an adopted person, I’m very familiar with the seven core issues, both comprehensively and experientially. Yet even with my prior knowledge, there was a deeper understanding to be attained through the pages of this book. Having had the pleasure to work with and consider both Sharon and Allison my friends, I’ve seen first hand the passion they have for adoption and helping children find permanence. Their collective expertise, contained here, is, in my opinion, the gold standard for understanding and working towards permanence in adoption. Author: Keith Silverstein, Voice Actor and Adoption Advocate

Too often as healthcare providers, we focus on the medical, contractual, and economic aspects of adoption and 3rd party reproduction. Acknowledging the 7 core issues and their impact on all parties associated with this process is an important first step in improving the care we deliver to our patients. Author: Matthew C. Goering, Ph.D., HCLD University of Kansas School of Medicine, Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine

As an adoptive Dad of three kids from foster care, I found the book to be an insightful and useful resource. It gives voice to both the challenges and resiliencies of those touched by foster care and adoption. Author: Sean Anders, writer/director of Paramount Pictures’ Instant Family

What do you get when two highly experienced, talented, thoughtful and respected adoption experts write a book together? The answer is this exceptional piece of work, which falls into the rare `must have, must read and must use’ category of literature relating to all sorts of `nontraditional’ families. From my perspective as both an adoption professional and an adoptive parent, I couldn’t recommend it more strongly. Author: Adam Pertman, President of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency and author of “Adoption Nation”

This is a very comprehensive, inclusive, updated version of The Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency, which is definitely an amazing resource for families, agency professionals, clinicians, academics, consultants and many others impacted by adoption. The excellent contributing authors have had a variety of professional and personal experiences related to child welfare (i.e. as adoptees, foster youth, kinship care providers, and adoptive and foster parents), as well as having professional training and expertise in working with diverse population groups impacted by the child welfare system.
Not only does this book highlight the core issues of adoption and permanency, it is unique, as it includes specific chapters which focus on these issues for ethnically diverse families including: Latinos, African Americans, Tribal communities, Asian and multi-racial families. The book includes content on the implications of the core issues in work with adoptive, kinship families, birth/first families, foster families, and LGBTQ families. It provides very real and practical examples of the impact of losses, vicarious trauma experienced by children and parents, while including content on strategies for coping and gaining resilience. I would highly recommend this book for use in courses on “Contemporary Issues in Adoption and Foster Care”, “Child Welfare” and others which are designed to prepare professionals for work in this very important area.

Author: Ruth G. McRoy, Ph.D Professor Emeritus Boston College School of Social Work

This is a book that has been itching to be written for a very long time, as the framework of the Seven Core Issues has shaped thinking on adoption for the last three decades. Yet the benefit that this book was not written until now is that it is even more expansive. Rarely if ever have I read a book that covers so much ground so effectively. I have immense respect for the authors and their work. Roszia and Davis Maxon are critical thought leaders. Author: Betsie Norris, adoptee, executive director Adoption Network Cleveland: The Ohio Family Connection