When teens establish contact with their birth families, they face risks, as well as rewards.
Understanding Open Adoption
In an open adoption, you meet your child’s birth parents and maintain contact after placement. Find open adoption information and stories here.
Two families, linked by a shared adoption experience, discover that they are bound by DNA, as well.
“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?”
Real-life advice from the Adoptive Families community on understanding openness, navigating visits and contact, explaining birth siblings, and more.
"You belong to two heritages-Jewish and Latin American-and at this special time in your life, when many Jewish families travel to the Mideast, we're heading south." More than a few heads turned when I announced this in my speech to my thirteen-year-old daughter, Amanda, on the occasion of her bat mitzvah.
We asked our readers: What talent or trait do you see in your child that must be from his or her birth family? Read the answers from adoptive parents.
Having children was something that other people did. But giving birth has given me a sense of connection I never felt before.
When it came to locating our daughter's birth mother in Guatemala, we didn't know where to begin. But we knew that we had to try.
“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?”
Part of how teens form identity is by finding ways they are alike and different from their family. They may want to search for their genetic relatives to figuring out who they are and how to emotionally put pieces in place.
I used to see adoption from only one viewpoint—that of the adoptive parents. But working in the field before becoming an adoptive mother opened my eyes to how complex and bittersweet adoption can be.
“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?”
As teen's desire more control over their lives, they want to be the decision-makers in determining contact with birth family.
The Internet requires a cautious approach when teens are looking for answers about adoption.
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.
Faced with a young daughter's despair, a mother realizes her child must reconnect with the past.
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.
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.
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.
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.