“My nine-year-old has been asking me about her birth mother. I was able to find her on social media, but I’m worried about sharing the photos I found.”
Christine Bauer’s revealing memoir begins when she hears those three words (“You are pregnant”) and faces an unplanned pregnancy, and takes readers through her open adoption decision, and the ensuing three decades as a birth mother and mother. In this excerpt, Bauer relates the complicated emotions that accompanied her second pregnancy, 11 years after placing her daughter for adoption, and the birth of her oldest son.
Adoptive moms and dads share how their open adoptions have changed over time — whether they became more or less open, and why.
We set off on the 3,400-mile journey to meet my daughter’s birth mother in silence, our questions too big to put into words. In Colombia, communicating through an interpreter, but also through smiles, tears, embraces, and shared sensory experiences, all of us began to find answers.
We have a closed adoption, per our child’s birth mother’s request. How can I ever tell my child that I know who her birth mother is, but can’t share that information?
My love for my youngest child, who was born to me, takes a different timbre from my love for my twins through adoption. Accepting this helps me understand the inimitable bond they share with their birth mother, and the ache she must feel.
At a recent gathering, an acquaintance made a comment based on the astonishingly misguided and downright vulgar assumption that my child’s birth parents are unworthy or subpar. Here’s how I responded.
Adoptive parents pay tribute to their "adoption heroes," including a social worker, their child's birth mother, or their child.
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?”