When Your Child Has Birth Siblings

Our adoption expert explains the importance of breaking the news of birth siblings in age-appropriate ways.

When confidential adoptions were the norm, adoptive parents and adoptees seldom knew if the birth parents had other children. Today, even those families who do not have routine or direct contact with their children’s birth families have some knowledge of them. Adoptive parents receive information at the time of placement, and non-identifying letters sent annually through a confidential intermediary reveal changes in the birth parents’ families — illnesses, deaths, marriages, and births. It isn’t unusual for adoptive parents to know ...

Parents who know that one child was placed for adoption while a sibling was not may wonder how to explain it in a way their child can understand.

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