After adopting my children from foster care, we eased into contact with their birth mother. She and I—a conservative, suburban mom—couldn’t be more different, and I’m glad that’s the case. The kids have a special relationship with her that they can’t have with me.
“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?”
“Our son’s birth mother is now married and parenting a newborn. How should I answer if he asks why they couldn’t raise him?”
Three adolescents share their experiences with open adoption, and how they feel about their relationships with their birth family.
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.
An adolescent's peers may tell you something about their inner life.
“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?”
“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?”
“I just discovered that my daughter’s birth mother died. My daughter is a preteen and rarely asks about her birth parents. Should I tell her this now, or wait? And, if so, how do I bring it up?”
For prospective adoptive parents hoping to meet an expectant mother, few situations are more anxiety-inducing than their first encounter. Whether you plan to meet in person or over the phone, knowing ahead of time what questions to ask-and not ask-can reduce your anxiety and help you make the most of this opportunity to obtain information.
Keep in mind that your goal is to connect with the right expectant mother for you. Successful adoptions occur when prospective adoptive parents and birth parents make a strong pre-birth connection. So, resist making yourself into something you’re not.
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.
“My six-year-old has been asking a lot of new questions about adoption and his birth mother. He’s also told us that he loves her more than he loves us. How should we respond?”
Faced with a young daughter's despair, a mother realizes her child must reconnect with the past.
After struggling to parent my twin daughters for ten months, I sadly realized I couldn’t provide them with the stable life I’d envisioned.
My greatest joy, becoming a mother, happened because both of my children lost the one person no child should have to lose.
As grade-school kids learn more about adoption, they begin to ask more questions. How do you respond?