“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?”
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.
The Internet requires a cautious approach when teens are looking for answers about adoption.
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.
Questions from their peers get more complicated for our teens—and their peers' questions may reflect their own worries about adoption.
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.
A mother of three seeks advice on adopting her child’s birth siblings. She worries that her child will feel hurt if they don’t, but also that they won’t have the energy or resources to parent more children.
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.
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.
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?
A mother who adopted older children asks what to say to her children’s birth grandparent when her children don’t ask for contact.
"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."
Parents share whether they have photos of their child’s birth family displayed in their homes—where, why or why not, and how they talk about them.
Somehow, I turned out to be both an adoptive mom and a member of a birth family.
Distance doesn't eliminate a desire to communicate with the birth mothers that children imagine, as these letters demonstrate.
Do you know of any books, like I Wish for You a Beautiful Life: Letters from the Korean Birth Mothers of Ae Ran Won to Their Children, written for kids adopted from China?
My younger daughter adopted her sister’s child. My granddaughter’s now eight, and knows that she was adopted, but she doesn’t know that her “Auntie” is her birth mother.
Would it really be possible to fill out my daughter's hazy memories by typing names into a search engine?
My daughter was eight years old in the referral photo we received during the international adoption process. That's the oldest photo she will ever have of herself.
Got a Web-savvy teen on your hands? Here's how to set safety guidelines for online birth family contact.
I send letters with pictures to my children’s birth parents via our adoption agencies.