Bonding and Attachment After Adoption - Advice & Personal Stories


Stories and advice from parents and adoption experts about bonding and attachment with a newly adopted child.

author Billy Cuchens and his son Jayden snuggle together at home

“My Snuggle Boy”

“My Snuggle Boy”

When we adopted our son as a toddler, he rarely displayed emotion and wouldn't show us any affection. How far my big, cuddly 10-year-old has come!

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welcoming an older child into your family and creating sense of belonging through photographs

Creating a Photographic History for an Older Child

Pictures help show our children that their lives matter, and that they are part of a family. A photographer and adoptive mom offers her advice for taking and preserving meaningful moments.

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father's hand placing missing piece in wooden heart tangram puzzle, representing healing after older child adoption

“One of the Missing Pieces”

When older children argue and act out, it’s often connected to events from their past. How could any child move through 14 foster placements unscathed? But last night, another clash, followed by a heart-to-heart, brought us one piece closer to feeling like a solid family.

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Sherri Gragg and her three children

“Black, White, and the Cornrow in Between”

While it might have been “just hair” to me, the emotions were far more tangled for them, with roots deep into the history of oppression between our two peoples.

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A woman sits in a park, breastfeeding an adopted baby

Yes, You Can Breastfeed

Now you need to decide if it's right for you and your family.

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A young couple picks out adoption day gifts for their daughter.

Adoption Day Gifts From Russia, with Love

The mementos we gathered during our long adoption stay have meant a great deal to our daughter as she grows up.

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An adoption shower cake and gift

Adoption Shower for Toddlers or Older Children

Planning an adoption shower for an internationally or domestically adopted toddler or older child? Here’s what to ask for.

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We considered adopting a second child, but eventually decided to grow our family by adding a dog, instead

“A Different Kind of Sister”

My partner and I thought long and hard about whether we wanted to adopt a second child. We decided to adopt a puppy-sister for our daughter instead.

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An adoptive mom stands in front of a pile of Christmas gifts

“Santa’s Dilemma”

This year, we've vowed to cut back at Christmas. Well, perhaps it wasn't a vow, but at least a serious intent to try. Then again, they are children for such a short time.

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"What 'Gotcha Day' Means to My Family"

“What ‘Gotcha’ Means to My Family”

While I acknowledge that the word carries only a hint of the day's complicated meaning, to me, "Gotcha" says it all.

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A father who adopted older children from foster care shares his story, likening parenting and filling in missing pieces to playing Jenga backward

“Parenting After Foster Adoption—Like Playing Jenga, Backward”

As a father who raised a child from birth and is now parenting older children adopted from foster care, I’ve come to see that the game and pieces may, indeed, be the same, but you have to play in an entirely different way.

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An adoptive mom using a baby carrier

Share Your Story: Baby Carriers

Adoptive moms are passionate about their baby carriers. We asked for your favorites and here's what you said.

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The Recommended Post-Adoption Screening Tests

Post-Arrival Medical Evaluations

Your guide to identifying medical problems common to internationally adopted children.

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Cover of The Safe Baby

Book Review: The Safe Baby

The Safe Baby is an easy-to-follow resource that will give busy parents — adoptive or otherwise — peace of mind.

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adoptive mom Sandy Burkett with her daughter as a toddler

“Are Adoptive Moms Allowed to Have a Bad Day?”

After finally realizing my dream of becoming a mother, I found what most new parents find—along with the bliss come days filled with crying, spit-up, and leaking diapers. But when I dared to vent, I was chided: “You wanted to adopt…you asked for this!”

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Which baby gift registry is best? Our readers share

“Which Baby Gift Registry is Best?”

Readers share their registry experiences—and tell us which companies have adoption-friendly options.

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