At a recent gathering, an acquaintance made a comment based on the astonishingly misguided and downright vulgar assumption that my child’s birth parents are unworthy or subpar. Here’s how I responded.
Real Adoption Stories
Adoptive Families’ collection of personal adoption stories, written by adoptive parents, adoptees, birth parents, and others touched by adoption. We hope the stories will make you nod your head in recognition, help you reminisce, make you laugh—or fight back tears—and encourage and inspire you on your adoption journey.
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.
“Our Journey to China to Adopt Our Daughter”
We left our house this morning a family of three, but the next time we walk through our front door, it will be as a family of four.
The Talk: Revealing the Realities of Racism to My African-American Child
Growing up in Trinidad, I didn’t use the word black to describe myself. But as the mother of two black children in the U.S., I walk the fine line of raising them to believe they are capable and worthy while understanding that everyone in this country has been taught to discount their value.
Lessons I’ve Learned from My Children
Over decades as a foster and adoptive parent and an adoption social worker, I have mothered and supported hundreds of children. Each one has taught me more than I passed along to them. Here is just some of that wisdom.
“Meeting Jennifer” – Opening a Foster Adoption
After adopting my children from foster care, we eased into contact with their birth mother. She and I—a conservative, suburban mom—couldn’t be more different, and I’m glad that’s the case. The kids have a special relationship with her that they can’t have with me.
“Sister—a Role I Wasn’t Ready to Play”
“My biological brother was adopted as an infant. When he found us, he was eager to claim us as family. But is that really what we were?” A woman shares the story of meeting her birth sibling and offers advice for others contemplating search or faced with a reunion.
“This Is For Real”
An unexpected emergency tests the strength of a mother-daughter bond.
“Overcoming All Odds”
Although we knew our South American-born son would face challenges growing up in a predominantly white middle class suburb, we were totally unprepared for what was to come.
My parents were immigrants from Germany and India, my husband also comes from a mixed background; we have one biological child, and one adopted from South Korea. What makes my daughter Korean? What makes her American?
“Beyond All Expectations”
She went abroad intending to be an orphanage volunteer—and came back a mother.
“Visiting Our Daughter’s Russian Orphanage”
Three years after her adoption, we returned to our daughter’s Russian orphanage to visit her caregivers and friends there.
“Buying the Lie About Infertility and Adoption”
Somehow, somewhere in my mind I believed that becoming a mother through adoption would erase my infertility. But one pregnancy announcement after another from family and friends soon made it clear that this was far from the truth.
“A Child’s Garden”
First I looked through the pages of Adoptive Families with a sense of duty. Then, the hope I felt looking at the made me realize, “I want to adopt a child.”
The Paternity Test, Part 2: “The Results”
After meeting a man who thought he might be our daughter’s birth father, we were all invested in the idea of an open adoption relationship—but how would the test come back?
“You Have Thousands of Angels Around You”
How one young woman lost her family, survived a war, escaped two continents, and through the kindness of strangers found a lifelong home in Atlanta.
The Paternity Test, Part 1: “I Hope It’s Them”
When our daughter was born, her birth mom listed the birth father as “unknown.” Ten years later, he found us on social media and reached out.
“Finding Peace Through the Adoptee Community”
The Chinese adoptee community moved across oceans, grew up in interracial families, and is now navigating young adulthood. We hold a special place in history—but long to know our own personal beginnings.
“Our Domestic Heritage Trip to San Antonio”
A child doesn’t have to be adopted internationally to need to find her roots.
“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.