Openness

in a family that's built through open adoption and step-relatives, more love is more love

Three Stories: Unexpected Birth Family Reunions

Three Stories: Unexpected Birth Family Reunions

A trio of remarkable stories from the first large group of Korean adoptees, now in their late 20's and early 30's. Thirty years ago, with international adoption information thought to be nonexistent and U.S. birth records sealed, few parents expected that their children would ever meet their birth families. Today, as more and more adoptees reach adulthood, they are finding birth relatives-or are being found by them. Whether a child is from the U.S., Guatemala, Russia, or China, she may one day be in touch with her first family. These stories, each detailing an unexpected family reunion, may well reflect the complexity of what is ahead.

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A blank birth certificate as parents contemplate an adoption name change

“Should We Keep or Change Our Child’s Name?”

We carefully choose our children's names. But wait—our children will soon have their own ideas about who they are and what they should be called.

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author Lakshmi Iyer with her family, including twins adopted as older infants in an open adoption

“How I Met My Daughters”

I may not remember when I first knew I wanted to be a mother, but the moments leading up to and the first time I saw my daughters are indelibly etched in my memory.

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author Brandy Stein with her twin daughters during an open adoption visit

“Letting Go After Months of Struggling to Parent”

After struggling to parent my twin daughters for ten months, I sadly realized I couldn’t provide them with the stable life I’d envisioned.

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hands signing a post-adoption contact agreement, or PACA, outlining birth family contact in an open adoption

Parent-to-Parent: Post-Adoption Contact Agreements

Parents in open adoptions share whether they have a post-adoption contact agreement with their child's birth parents and, if so, what it includes.

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An illustration for talking to adopted children as they become teens

Supporting Your Teen’s Developing Identity

Questions from their peers get more complicated for our teens—and their peers' questions may reflect their own worries about adoption.

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brothers and sisters benefit from knowing about and seeing their birth siblings after adoption

Bringing Birth Siblings Into Our Children’s Stories—and Lives

The vast majority of our children have birth siblings, yet parents may wonder how to approach the topic. Adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees share how they talk about biological siblings, and build brother-sister bonds.

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in a family that's built through open adoption and step-relatives, more love is more love

“More Love Is More Love”

In many families, relationships come without exact names. While adoption highlighted this truth, it was already a given in my family—and maybe in yours, too?

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“Family Is Now” - Open Adoption and Changing Relationships

“Family Is Now”

What if my daughter doesn't choose me? What if she grows up and moves to live near her other mom—her birth mom? I think about that and I get scared. Then I think, so what if she does? I can’t worry about that; I can only parent now.

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"We Are All Adopted," by Veronica Chenik Gilmore

“We Are All Adopted”

From my own search for my roots through adopting older children from foster care, life has taught me to treasure my children’s biological connections while knowing that we don’t have to look alike to belong together.

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a birth mother attends her son's second birthday party and finds she feels accepted by his family

“Finding My Place in the Family”

Though society doesn’t know what to do with birth mothers, I knew I had a place with my son’s parents. At his second birthday party, I learned that I had a place with their family, too.

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Whether you have an "open adoption" or a "closed adoption" in terms of contact, you can parent with an open heart

Parenting with an Open Heart

Whether you see your child’s birth parents frequently or have never had contact, you can still imbue your adoption and your relationship with your child with openness.

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An adoptee and her mother discussing her birth father reunion

“For the Love of My Child”

When Elizabeth was young, closed adoption was comfortable. But my outlook changed the day my teenage daughter said, "I want to find them."

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Growing to Love Grace's Birth Mom

“A Birthday Gift for Grace”

It wasn't until my daughter's first birthday that it hit me: I was grieving her birth mom's loss. With that realization, I was able to celebrate as she would have wanted.

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