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.

An adoptive mother looks back on the moment she met her daughter

“Finding My Inner Mom”

“Finding My Inner Mom”

For years, I felt ambivalence about becoming a parent, and worry that I wouldn’t be a “perfect” mother. In an open letter to my daughter, I look back on that moment of calm and utter clarity when we met.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: What to Do the First Time a Foster Child Comes to Stay with Us?

"We are preparing for our first overnight visit with sisters we hope to adopt from foster care, and are nervous. What are we supposed to do for 24 hours with two children who are essentially strangers?"

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singer-songwriter and adoptive mother Lissa Schneckenburger

Media Focus: Lissa Schneckenburger

Lissa Schneckenburger’s new album, Thunder in My Arms, takes foster and adoptive parents on a melodic song cycle about the ongoing effects of early trauma and the healing power of community, understanding, and love. Tune in to learn more.

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Author Gary Matloff's two sons, adopted from Brazil as older children, home together for Thanksgiving

“…and so It Goes”

My older son is off at college, and I’ve been heartened to see that his “new normal” includes a maturing and strengthening of the bond between us. I look back to the day I met him, just over eight years ago, and our years of attachment struggles, even as I look to his future, and ours, with hope.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Reconciling Different Personalities in Adoption

A mother finds herself exhausted trying to keep up with the boisterous, outgoing older child she’s adopting, and also worries that the girl might start feeling “different” from the rest of the family (who are all naturally more reserved and quiet). An expert offers advice.

author Gary Matloff with his sons, after adoption and now, as teens

“The Fine Line Between Letting Go and Being Let Go”

I adopted my son as he was entering his teen years, and now, too soon, I have seen him off to college. How will his still tenuous attachment play out when I’m no longer a constant, physical presence in his life?

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A mother bonding with her child.

“How We Bonded with Our Child”

All prospective adoptive parents wonder whether they'll be able to attach to heir newborn baby before adoption. AF readers describe their concerns—and what they did to alleviate them.

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Support Groups for Adoptive Parents and Families

Support Groups for Adoptive Parents and Families

Adoptees and their families need help and guidance throughout their lives. Support groups can help provide that.

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A dad walks in the forest with his daughter after adopting after age 50.

“Finally Father’s Day”

I became a dad at age 50, and it changed my life in ways I never could have expected. It was the greatest gift.

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Two preschool children learn about categories.

Celebrating Sameness in Your Family

Help your preschooler process the world around him by pointing out the ways you are alike.

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A band aid on a broken heart

“Band-Aid Mom”

Can a Band-Aid do more than heal a physical wound? For my daughter, adopted from Ethiopia at age 9, a mother's therapeutic touch — to real and emotional boo-boos — began a deeper healing process.

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AF Interviews Melissa Fay Green

Interview with Melissa Fay Green

The adoptive mom and critically acclaimed author talks about her adoption of two brothers from Ethiopia, the AIDS crisis in Africa, and Haregewoin Teferra, the foster mother at the center of her book, There Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Her Country's Children.

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A Mother's Day Card reminds a mom of the dichotomy of adoptive motherhood and her children's birth mother

“Motherhood, Cleaved.”

My love for my youngest child, who was born to me, takes a different timbre from my love for my twins through adoption. Accepting this helps me understand the inimitable bond they share with their birth mother, and the ache she must feel.

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An adoptive mom cuddles with her newly adopted baby to promote bonding

Parents Share: “My Best Bonding Advice”

Adoptive moms and dads share their best advice for bonding with a newly adopted child, from taking time off to never leaving a child to cry it out at night.

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older-child-adoption-siblings-first-words-story-carpenter-field-flowers

“First Words”

We may not have heard our children’s very first words, but we’ve heard many others in our journey through infertility and foster adoption—and now, as family.

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