Author Archives: Debbie B. Riley, LCMFT

Several teens of different racial heritages talk.

How to Support Your Teen’s Developing Racial Identity

How to Support Your Teen’s Developing Racial Identity

Embracing your child's racial identity means embracing his friends, too.

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Parenting teens: a dad sits outside with his son at a picnic table

Letting Teens Take the Reins

As teen's desire more control over their lives, they want to be the decision-makers in determining contact with birth family.

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A teen boy sits and thinks about his birth father

“What Do I Tell My Teen About His Birth Father?”

Your teen will want to know more about his birth father—and his birth parents' relationship.

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Looking for Adoption History Using the Internet

Searching for Answers…with Google?

The Internet requires a cautious approach when teens are looking for answers about adoption.

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Portrait of a teacher and student who have discussed his adoption story.

“Should We Tell Our Son’s Teacher That He Was Adopted?”

Families share their experiences with school and adoption issues.

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An illustration for talking to adopted children as they become teens

Supporting Your Teen’s Developing Identity

Questions from their peers get more complicated for our teens—and their peers' questions may reflect their own worries about adoption.

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A group of teens who may encounter insensitive comments about adoption

“Is That Your Family?”

By now, you and your teen have established a firm family bond. But outsiders may not see it that way.

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Adopted teens can use birth parents as a weapon when they're upset

Responding to “My Real Mom Would Let Me!”

When they're angry at us, teens may bring up the subject of birth parents. Here's how to answer calmly.

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Understanding teens and open adoption

Teens and Open Adoption

As teens seek independence, they rethink their relationships with all the adults in their lives — including birth parents.

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Your adopted teen may have some questions for you.

6 Questions Every Adopted Teen Wants Answered

In this excerpt from Beneath the Mask: Understanding Adopted Teens, we take a look at what goes on in the minds of teens, and offer advice for talking with them.

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Two teens exploring an online adoption community

Searching for Self

Can't pry your teen from the computer? The Internet can be a great tool for finding identity and networking with other adopted teens.

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