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.

death of birth mother

“Paying My Respects to My Son’s Birth Mother”

Our son came to us from foster care, in a closed adoption. So how did I find myself walking through the doors of a dark funeral home, preparing to introduce myself to his other family?

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Angela Tucker writes about common reactions to adoptees who search for birth parents

Are Adoptees Selfish For Wanting To Search?

Finding my birth family has never been an attempt to replace anyone else, but simply an effort to find myself, a desire my adoptive family understands.

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Reunited identical twins embrace

Double The Love — Anaïs & Sam

A set of identical twins who were separated at birth and adopted by different families — not to be reunited until age 27.

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One mother asks, Should I initiate contact with birth mother?

Should We Contact our Son’s Birth Parents?

Adoptive Families asks advice on a reader's behalf. Should we contact our son's birth parents?

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What families should consider when searching for birth families

Searching for Birth Families

Parents who look for their child’s birth family abroad are ushering in a new openness in international adoption. Many say the decision to search requires careful thought.

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Two mothers at a birth family reunion

“Our Canadian-Colombian Family Reunion”

After returning from a trip to my son's birth country, my heart — and journal — was overflowing.

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A picture of Christina and Christy during their birth mother meeting

“Getting to Meet Her Birth Mother”

A daughter — and her mother — look forward to a very special family reunion.

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A family in an open international adoption

“Families Without Borders”

To honor their son Tristan’s birth family, a Canadian family initiated a long-distance relationship. Now, they’re taking him to Colombia to meet them.

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A birth mother search brought Elizabeth Larsen's family closer together

“A Complicated Privilege”

Was hiring someone to search for our daughter's Guatemalan birth mother the right thing to do? We decided we had no choice but to try to meet her.

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An illustration of a family

“How Our Family Approached Our Birth Parent Search”

Three families describe their relationships with their children's birth parents — deciding to keep in touch, searching for birth parents, and managing an already open adoption.

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A birth parent search can take you to different places than you thought

Birth Parent Search in International Adoption

Adoptive parents around the globe are seeking their children's first families — even before these children voice an opinion on the matter. But do we know what we're doing?

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Announcing your adoption can be done through a letter to family and friends

“Finding Her Birth Mother, A World Apart”

Opening our daughter's international adoption has allowed her to ask questions and receive answers, brought her birth mother a sense of peace from knowing that her child is alive, well, and happy, and given us the unforgettable privilege of personally thanking our child's birth mother.

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A domestic adoptive mother reflects on taking her daughter to visit her birth mother

“Visiting My Daughter’s Birth Mother”

Taking my daughter to visit her birth mother, I found that, while shared genes make them alike in some ways, it’s shared experiences that make us family.

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Adoption expert Lois Melina on talking with adopted children about unknown birth family information

Proceeding with Caution in Birth Family Search

Adoptive parents sometimes initiate birth parent searches before their children are emotionally prepared to deal with the results.

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