“Our adoption profile was shown to an expectant mother, and she selected a different family. We knew this was a possibility, of course, but feel disappointed. How to cope?” Readers offer advice.
Advice from Adoption Experts
Adoption experts answer your questions about talking about adoption, attachment, birth parent contact, and more.
“Would knowing that somewhere, out in the world, she has a biological sister—but one she can’t get in touch with or live with as a sibling—help our child, or be harmful?”
"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?"
A mother who adopted from foster care seeks advice about discouraging her children from charming or hugging strangers— and how to respond to the adults who think the child is just ‘being sweet.’
Parents are puzzled by their seven-year-old’s new questions and feelings about adoption. Adoption expert Beth Friedberg, LCSW, offers an explanation and talking tips.
"We are adopting from foster care and have an 'ice breaker' meeting with a 10-year-old boy scheduled for tomorrow. I’m super nervous. Can anyone share advice about forging a connection?"
“Our son had been excited about the idea of a ‘little brother,’ but, from the day our younger son came home, they have had intense rivalry; there was no ‘honeymoon’ period. What can we do?”
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.
“Does anyone else feel jealous, weepy, depressed, and even a bit angry when friends or family members share the joyous news that they’re pregnant? I am truly thankful for my daughter, adopted five years ago, but at the same time, their news reminds me of how little control I have over growing our family.”
“My nine-year-old has been asking me about her birth mother. I was able to find her on social media, but I’m worried about sharing the photos I found.”
“Our children have a younger sibling in a different foster home. Should we fight to get custody of this child, whom we’re told has a strong bond with her foster parents and foster siblings, or leave things be?”
“Our 17-year-old is experiencing depression and has been smoking pot. She told us she sees her depression as connected to adoption, which surprised us, because we’ve always talked openly about adoption. How can we help her?”
A mother seeks advice on sharing difficult birth family details with her daughter, and how this might affect their open adoption relationship.
A mother seeks advice in selecting a school for her daughter, who is biracial. How to weigh general diversity vs. specific racial representation vs. distance from the family’s home?
An adoptive mother explores adopting her son’s biological sister, but realizes she wouldn’t be able to meet the child’s medical needs. She seeks advice on how to tell her son.
We have a closed adoption, per our child’s birth mother’s request. How can I ever tell my child that I know who her birth mother is, but can’t share that information?
My child’s birth mother has a drug addiction. How should I explain this to him? How can I do so without sounding judgmental about his birth mother?
“I know that my children’s birth siblings were abused by their birth parents, but my children don’t talk about trauma in their earlier lives. How should I talk with them about this?”
“I’m so excited to be moving forward in the adoption process, but, when I share that news, I’ve been surprised and frankly dismayed at some of the reactions I’ve gotten. These range from dismissive to fearful and discouraging.”
“When my daughter was in her teens, we sent a letter to her birth mother via our adoption agency, but never heard back. Yesterday, I got a social media message from her birth mother’s sister, which shared sad news. How do I break this news to my daughter?”