When I adopted my two sons eight years ago, they couldn’t separate themselves fast enough from their “old” life in Brazil. As I prepared to visit my oldest son two months into his “new” college life—a lifetime for any freshman—I wondered to what extent he might have compartmentalized his now “old” family life.
Today in the United States, more than 123,000 children in foster care are waiting for a permanent home through adoption. Nearly 45 percent of these children are ages eight or older—and desperately need the stability, guidance, and love that only a family can provide. Learn more of the myths and realities surrounding older child adoption.
I adopted my son as he was entering his teen years, and now, too soon, I have seen him off to college. How will his still tenuous attachment play out when I’m no longer a constant, physical presence in his life?
Isaac is 14 years old, but he’s six feet tall and almost two hundred pounds. He’s also black. He hasn’t been a discipline problem since the day he came home, but someone who doesn’t know him could see him as a threat. So what was I to do on a recent evening when he asked to bike home alone in the dark?
Your child may see you as less understanding than his birth parents might be. Here's how to cope with teenage temper tantrums.
“Our 17-year-old is experiencing depression and has been smoking pot. She told us she sees her depression as connected to adoption, which surprised us, because we’ve always talked openly about adoption. How can we help her?”
If you’re parenting an oppositional child or teen, you probably say “no” a lot. You may say it so often that it’s become your default response, or you may be stuck in the perception that “no” is the healthier option. How can you bring positivity back into your parent-child relationship?
Embracing your child's racial identity means embracing his friends, too.
Stumped by your teen's silences and questions? Here's how to tackle them.
By talking through possible actions and consequences, you can help your child develop decision-making and long-range thinking skills.
An unexpected emergency tests the strength of a mother-daughter bond.
"Going to college provides the time and distance for young adult adoptees to experiment with and sort out their own interests and self-expectations."
Three adolescents share their experiences with open adoption, and how they feel about their relationships with their birth family.
Teens need their parents' guidance in forming their racial identity.
When teens establish contact with their birth families, they face risks, as well as rewards.
Teens may try on different identities as they seek to determine who they are.
An adolescent's peers may tell you something about their inner life.
Writing a journal is a great way to build a stronger sense of self.
This story of a teen adopted from Latin America tackles questions of identity, race, birth culture, and more.
“I recently found out that my teen is friends with his birth mother on Facebook. I feel badly that I found this out by ‘snooping,’ but I am also shocked and upset that she didn’t try to contact us or the adoption agency first. What should we do?”