Personal Stories and Advice for Adoptive Parents from Adoptees


Adult adoptees share their perspectives, stories about growing up adopted, and advice for this generation of adoptive parents raising their children.

A child wishing her parents had told her the truth about adoption

“The Power of Truth”

“The Power of Truth”

I know my parents were trying to protect me. But all their secrecy made me feel like something was wrong with me.

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Confident older adoptees, like the women depicted in Lost Daughters

[Book Review] Lost Daughters

Parents of young girls can read Lost Daughters to explore how their daughter might feel as she travels through life as an adoptee.

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Barbed wire, symbolizing the book Prison Baby

[Book Review] Prison Baby

Jiang-Stein always knew that she was adopted, but only discovered that she was born in a prison at age 12.

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An adoptee and her family, wondering if she should play the adoption card in a college essay

“Should I Play the ‘Adoption Card’?”

I began to have second thoughts about sharing my story in application essays — just as it’s no one else’s business, it shouldn’t factor into a college’s decision to accept me.

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An adoptee visiting the Taj Mahal on her return to India

“Journey to Calcutta”

Despite my parents' urging, I had always rejected my Indian identity. At 21, I learned to embrace it.

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Adoption Memoir

[Book Excerpt] Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home

In this excerpt from her adoption memoir, Kim Sunée describes the hunger she experienced as a child, and how food helped her bond with her adoptive family.

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Sketch of books, representing memories and beginnings

“A Hunger for Words”

The elusive memory of a kindred spirit has steered me, over the years, toward the heart of my own story.

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One woman's story of stepparent adoption

“Family by Choice”

One adoptive mother describes her dad's decision to make her legally his daughter by stepparent adoption, and how it influenced her understanding of family.

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One teen's adoptee story of her fears on adoption day.

“Three Little Words on My Adoption Day”

A decade of disappointing foster care placements made me doubt the two people who had taken me into their hearts.

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The author's imaginary birth mom, astronaut Christa McAuliffe

“When My Birth Mom Was an Astronaut”

I looked for my birth mother everywhere. For a little while, I found her on the Space Shuttle.

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IWantToBeMyself600

“I Want to Be Myself”

Putting together all her pieces — Chinese, Jewish, American, Israeli — made this adoptee realize that she was more than the sum of her parts.

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Three adult adoptee stories

“Did You Ever Mind It?”: On Race and Adoption

I tell prospective adoptive parents to take a good, hard look at their social circles, their neighborhoods, their churches, their communities and think about how those places and spaces will look and feel to their child.

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Adoptees through same race adoption talk about explaining physical dissimilarities

“Where Did You Get Those Dimples?”

Even among same-race families physical differences can prompt curious questions. How did you handle it?

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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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Questions for My Birth Mother in the Prison Where I was Born

“Prison Baby”

In this personal essay, one adoptee describes all the questions she wanted to ask her birth mother when she visited her birth country: a jail.

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