“In the beginning, my son’s birth mother seemed to want a lot of contact. I send photos or updates about once a week. She hasn’t seen him in a year, however, and her family hasn’t seen him since birth. Should I back off?”
Advice from Adoption Experts
Adoption experts answer your questions about talking about adoption, attachment, birth parent contact, and more.
“We have always tried to make sure our internationally adopted son feels proud of his heritage. This year, when the class was writing about Thanksgiving, he asked if he could skip the assignment because people from his birth country do not celebrate Thanksgiving. I know I need to talk to him, but I’m not sure where to start.”
“We just found out that we won’t be able to adopt the child we’ve been fostering. How do we tell the child, and explain to our older daughter?”
“I recently found out that my teen is friends with his birth mother on Facebook. I feel badly that I found this out by ‘snooping,’ but I am also shocked and upset that she didn’t try to contact us or the adoption agency first. What should we do?”
An adoptive parent wonders how to respond to an only child who keeps asking for a sibling. Real parents share their advice and stories.
“We are adopting my sister-in-law’s teenage son after fostering him for five years. What can I say to her at family gatherings, to family who still don’t get that we’ll be his legal parents—and to my son, who hears all of this?”
“My husband and I are working to adopt from foster care. How do we transition a child from calling us our first names to calling us ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’?”
“I just discovered that my daughter’s birth mother died. My daughter is a preteen and rarely asks about her birth parents. Should I tell her this now, or wait? And, if so, how do I bring it up?”
“My husband was advised that some adoptive parents ‘hide’ the adoption process and feign pregnancy on social media for friends and extended family. Has anyone done this?”
A mother is nervous about the upcoming first birth family visit, wondering what it will be like, how to react if she or the birth mother get upset. Parents in open adoptions offer advice.
“My six-year-old has been asking a lot of new questions about adoption and his birth mother. He’s also told us that he loves her more than he loves us. How should we respond?”
The mother of a preschooler shares her concern about negative comments her daughter has been making about her skin color. Parents who have been there offer advice.
“After years of seeming OK about being adopted, my teenage daughter has become sad and angry about it recently. How can I help her deal with her new emotions?”
“I need help dealing with unsupportive relatives who seem to think ‘adoption’ is a dirty word. How can I talk with them about adoption?”
A hopeful adoptive mother who’s just started the adoption wait is ready to nest and get the baby’s room ready—but her husband wants to wait. Parents who have been there offer advice.
An older mom who’s enjoyed the relative freedom of parenting teens is nervous about readjusting to more hands-on parenting when she adopts a young child. Parents who have been there offer advice.
“We adopted our 10-year-old daughter as an infant, and adopted her seven- and eight-year-old biological sisters last month. How can we help all three girls bond with each other?”
A mother of three seeks advice on adopting her child’s birth siblings. She worries that her child will feel hurt if they don’t, but also that they won’t have the energy or resources to parent more children.
“I adopted my grandson through a kinship adoption. He’s now six and has recently begun calling me ‘Mommy’ and saying he was in my tummy. Is this OK, or do I need to reiterate that I’m his grandmother?”
A prospective adoptive parent shares her feelings of sadness as the holidays approach while waiting to adopt. Parents who have been there offer advice.