We all imagine different ways our lives could have played out. For adoptees, these fantasies may seem particularly compelling: ‘What would my life have been like if I had not been adopted?’
Birth Family Search & Reunion Stories and Advice
Adult adoptees, adoptive parents, and experts on the emotional process of birth parent search and reunion in adoption.
Ask AF: Should I Try to Contact My Children’s Birth Siblings?
A mother who adopted from foster care seeks advice about contacting the adoptive parents of her children’s birth siblings. Fellow adoptive parents weigh in.
Ask AF: Worried My Daughter Will Think Her Birth Mom Is More “Fun”
“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.”
How Adoption Grew Secret
Our kids deserve to know who their people were.
“Back to Bucaramanga” – Meeting My Daughter’s Birth Mother in Colombia
We set off on the 3,400-mile journey to meet my daughter’s birth mother in silence, our questions too big to put into words. In Colombia, communicating through an interpreter, but also through smiles, tears, embraces, and shared sensory experiences, all of us began to find answers.
“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.
Ask AF: How to Share Sad News About a Birth Parent?
“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?”
“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.
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?
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.
Making the Connection with Birth Parents in Adolescence
When teens establish contact with their birth families, they face risks, as well as rewards.
“Amanda’s Journey Home to Her Birth Country”
“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.
“Looking for Answers in Guatemala”
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.
Ask AF: Just Found Out That My Child Is Friends with His Birth Mother on Facebook
“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?”
When Teens Want to Search for Birth Parents
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.
“Did You Want to Keep Me?”
Faced with a young daughter’s despair, a mother realizes her child must reconnect with the past.
News Brief: New Jersey Unseals Adoption Records
A New Jersey law signed in 2014 went into effect on January 1, 2017, and adoptees in that state may now access their original birth certificates and other adoption records.
[Movie Review] Lion
This powerful new film, based on a true story, offers a sensitive and responsible portrayal of adoption. Highly recommended for teens and adoptive parents!
“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.”
New Brief: Chinese Birth Parent Search Manual to Be Released
Two adult adoptees are working on the first edition of a Chinese Birth Parent Search Manual, to be released at the end of 2016.