We all imagine different ways our lives could have played out. For adoptees, these fantasies may seem particularly compelling: ‘What would my life have been like if I had not been adopted?’
We asked parents to "name one way in which adoptive parenting differs from parenting a biological child." From maintaining an open adoption to understanding trauma parenting to feeling free to agree wholeheartedly with compliments about your child's looks, here's what readers shared.
A mother who adopted from foster care seeks advice about contacting the adoptive parents of her children’s birth siblings. Fellow adoptive parents weigh in.
We asked "Does your child have a birth sibling who lives with another adoptive family?" Parents respond and explain how they keep in touch (or why contact isn't possible).
A mother seeks advice on sharing difficult birth family details with her daughter, and how this might affect their open adoption relationship.
Four families share how they fit making scrapbooks and lifebooks into their busy lives after adopting.
“When my daughter was in her teens, we sent a letter to her birth mother via our adoption agency, but never heard back. Yesterday, I got a social media message from her birth mother’s sister, which shared sad news. How do I break this news to my daughter?”
"My biological brother was adopted as an infant. When he found us, he was eager to claim us as family. But is that really what we were?" A woman shares the story of meeting her birth sibling and offers advice for others contemplating search or faced with a reunion.
“My cousin is pregnant but not ready to be a mom. She and I have discussed my adopting her baby. I realize we’ll need a lawyer, but what else will we need to do in order to adopt a family member’s child?”
When our daughter was born, her birth mom listed the birth father as “unknown.” Ten years later, he found us on social media and reached out.
We asked our readers: If you'll be giving your child's birth parents a gift this holiday season, what is it and how will you give it to them? Read the answers from adoptive parents.
“In the beginning, my son’s birth mother seemed to want a lot of contact. I send photos or updates about once a week. She hasn’t seen him in a year, however, and her family hasn’t seen him since birth. Should I back off?”
Real-life advice from the Adoptive Families community on understanding openness, navigating visits and contact, explaining birth siblings, and more.
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.
“We just found out that we won’t be able to adopt the child we’ve been fostering. How do we tell the child, and explain to our older daughter?”
“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?”
I used to see adoption from only one viewpoint—that of the adoptive parents. But working in the field before becoming an adoptive mother opened my eyes to how complex and bittersweet adoption can be.
A mother is nervous about the upcoming first birth family visit, wondering what it will be like, how to react if she or the birth mother get upset. Parents in open adoptions offer advice.
There's this poem I'm supposed to love. I first read it when we adopted our oldest son: Not flesh of my flesh nor bone of my bone/But still miraculously my own./Never forget, for a single minute,/You didn't grow under my heart, but in it.
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.