"In Our Own Words": Three Adoptees' Stories

Wondering how your child feels about growing up with white parents, or what's behind her desire to search for her birth family? Stop wondering and listen up to these adult adoptees.

Three adult adoptee stories

Adoptive parents often wonder what their children wish they knew about their birth family, how they perceive their identity, what it’s like to grow up as a transracial adoptee. Who better to turn to than the adults who have lived it? Three adoptees share their stories.


 

adult adoptee Nicole Soojung Callahan on transracial adoption“Did You Ever Mind It”
On Race and Adoption

BY NICOLE SOOJUNG CALLAHAN

Years ago, two friends sat across from me at their gleaming kitchen table and asked if I thought they should adopt a child.

It might seem like a strange question to ask a fresh college graduate still years away from becoming a parent herself. But this couple happened to be weighing transracial adoption, and I was the only adopted person and one of very few people of color they knew. We had recently been introduced by mutual friends who thought I could tell them what it was like growing up adopted. …

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adult adoptee Angela Tucker on birth family searchAre Adoptees Selfish for Wanting to Search?

BY ANGELA TUCKER

One of my birth sisters was placed for adoption just one year before I was born; I am hoping that someday I’ll get to meet her. Is my desire to find her being fueled by an attitude of entitlement? Since I was able to find all of my other birth relatives does that somehow mean that I should be able to find her too? When does it end? When should I draw the line? I have seven siblings in my immediate [adoptive] family, many nieces and nephews, parents, aunts, uncles, and have had a host of foster siblings over the years, yet I want more. …

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adult adoptee Lilach Brownstein on identity in adoption“I Want to Be Myself”

BY LILACH BROWNSTEIN

In my 20-plus years, I’ve only encountered one other person named Lilach (lee-lok).

The peculiarity of my name is compounded by my last name, Brownstein. So when I introduce myself, people almost always ask two questions: what does your name mean, and where are you from? (Actually three, since they first ask me to repeat myself.)

Thankfully, I’ve had extensive practice pronouncing my name, but the other two questions are difficult to answer. …

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