Maintaining Connections to Your Child's Pre-Adoption History


When an open adoption fades or isn’t possible, adoptive parents find other ways to maintain a connection to their child’s past.

Author Karen Hindhede and her daughter through domestic open adoption

“‘Trashy’ Parents?”

“‘Trashy’ Parents?”

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.

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The Kremlin in Russia

“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.

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

The Four Agreements in Open Adoption

Lois Melina offers personal reflections on making relationships between birth parents and adoptive families healthier—for the sake of our children, using the principles of The Four Agreements.

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Two girls started as friends, and discovered they were birth siblings

“The China Sisters”

Two families, linked by a shared adoption experience, discover that they are bound by DNA, as well.

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Adoptive parents discuss talents and traits they think their child must have inherited from the birth family

Parent-to-Parent: Like Birth Mother, Like Child

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.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Family Interactions After Kinship Adoption

“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?”

Looking for Adoption History Using the Internet

Searching for Answers…with Google?

The Internet requires a cautious approach when teens are looking for answers about adoption.

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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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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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"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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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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Mementos from Birth Family

Readers Share: Do You Have Mementos From Birth Family?

If so, when and how did you decide to share it with your child? If not, how have you handled discussions about the birth family?

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Adoption Relationships

Keeping Our Children Connected

"We visit and communicate directly with their foster family. These efforts help our sons build and sustain important relationships. They have already experienced too much loss and grief in their young lives."

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