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How adoptees celebrate Mother’s Day

Little girl and woman at the beach

Mother’s and Father’s Day can be difficult celebrations for adoptive families to navigate. In this article Kira, a 21-year-old who was born in China and adopted by a Canadian family, shares how her family celebrates, and how they acknowledge the importance of her birth family. Origins Happy Mother’s Day to all the future, present, and […]

Adoption registries in BC

A light-skinned man with dark hair, glasses, and a goatee hugs an older man with grey hair who is balding. The younger man has a big smile on his face.

The Adoption and Permanency Branch of the Ministry of Children and Family Development is responsible for the operation of five adoption registries. These registries assist members of the public who are connected to an adoption that occurred in BC or where BC was involved in an intercountry adoption. Here’s a quick overview of the role […]

Meet the Whitehead family

Meet the Whitehead family

The Whiteheads adopted their son, Thomas, as a baby, and while he was born premature and with health complications, he has grown up into a healthy, sports-loving teen. The Whiteheads have an open relationship with the birth family, and that has helped them to keep their son close to his Indigenous roots. This is their adoption story.  Can you […]

Gotcha Day

A young girl surrounded by a group of people, her eyes covered by a lady's hands, with a surprise birthday cake placed in front of her.

Gotcha Day is one of the names many adoptive parents use to mark the day their child was adopted. While is it intended as a celebration, adoptee Mila Konomos shares a different perspective, along with her personal adoption story. Mila is a transracial, transnational Korean American adoptee. She has been in reunion with her Korean […]

Finding (some of) my roots

Roots of a big tree.

Another adult adoptee shares here story of searching for her birth family, and finding roots that, while limited, help ground her.  I was born in December 1953, when my birth mother was almost 30 years old. I always knew I was adopted. I looked like my adopted family on the outside but I didn’t feel […]

We Are Adopted: A community for adoptees

We Are Adopted logo

We Are Adopted is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving and promoting the interests of adopted people of all ages. They support the exploration of personal and shared experiences for adopted and fostered people through regular meetups, workshops, speakers, resources, and community connections. Visit them and connect at weareadopted.ca. We Are Adopted was created in response […]

My search story

Silhouette of a woman watching the sunrise over the ocean horizon.

This is an article about the challenges and complexities of searching and reconnecting with a birth parent, and learning to cope when things don’t work out the way you’d hoped they would. I was born in 1973, relinquished at birth and adopted as an eight month old infant. I was born healthy in all respects, […]

The open adoption grid: A new dimension of openness

Lori Holden literally wrote the book on open adoption (The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole). In this article, she presents a new way of thinking about openness. How shall we think of open adoption? I bet if you asked a bunch of people who know about adoption what open […]

Mother’s Day

Spring’s here, and Mother’s Day is around the corner. In this section, we offer a variety of perspectives on how to celebrate when adoption is part of your story. When Mother’s Day hurts Holidays are a natural time to reflect on family and the past. For obvious reasons, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are extremely […]

DNA tests and adoption

Image of the DNA

As we celebrate the Belonging Network’s 40th anniversary, we’re reflecting on the past but also looking ahead to the future. This article explores one scientific advancement that’s already changing the world of adoption: DNA tests. The end of closed adoptions Open adoption has been championed for over 30 years, but the level and frequency of […]

Adoption-friendly family trees

An image featuring a green plant on the left and the word 'family' on the right.

At some point, almost every child will have to tackle a family tree school project. Classic family tree assignments assume every kid comes from an intact biological family with one mom and one dad, which can leave adopted kids feeling confused, left out, and sad. These alternative family trees welcome kids from all families to […]

Finding family online

Hands holding a mobile phone.

All over the world, people are using the Internet to seek out information about their roots. It’s now the norm for adoptees and birthparents to use social media to search for missing pieces of their biological puzzle without any need for detectives, red tape, agencies, or intermediaries. Things have changed so fast that parents, educators, […]

Adopted voice: Looking homeward

The back of a young woman with brown hair looking at the horizon.

I remember the noise the most. Car engines idled noxious gasses into the air; heavy footsteps snapped across well-worn concrete. The delicious yet unfamiliar smells of Asian street food filled my nostrils. I stood close to my parents, at the edge of a street corner. Together, we gazed across the road to a building. Above […]

Adopted Voice: It’s not about gratitude

Image with the following text: "#FlipTheScript A full understanding of adoption cannot be had without listening to adoptees' first-hand perspectives."

My adoption story Prior to my adoption, I lived in Tennessee with my birth mother (in utero) and then spent one year in foster care. Doctors’ assessments of my potential medical issues deterred black families from adopting me, so a white couple with experience parenting children with special needs was selected. I moved across the […]

Mother’s Day and the adoptive Mom

Mother’s Day brings to mind fresh flowers, blueberry pancakes and homemade cards. It’s a day to be spoiled and fêted by family. But for me, an adoptive mother, it’s never as simple as the Hallmark holiday it’s touted to be. Don’t get me wrong: I feel deep joy in my role as mom to my […]

Meet the Hobbs-Perry family

Photo of the Hobbs Perry family.

Wow, we are the parents of two children that just celebrated birthdays. Our daughter just turned three and our son just had his first birthday. The journey to become parents began when I turned 40, and my parental clock went into overdrive. It became clear to me, if I was wanted to make my dreams of […]

Reunion in international adoption

Teenager at an airport.

“Aren’t you interested in visiting Vietnam?” “Don’t you want to look for your birth parents?” “As soon as I save enough money, I’m planning to go to Bangladesh to search for my birth family.” These are a few of the questions and comments directed at our 22-year-old son, who up to that time had never […]

Adoption against all the odds

A man comforting a young girl, holding her hand and talking.

The following story is far from typical-most BC families that adopt from the US have a much easier experience. This story speaks to the immense strength of the desire to become parents. Despite the enormous difficulty of their journey, the couple we feature here persevered. That is a characteristic of many adoptive families-it is a […]

When birth parents change their minds

Young mother looking at her baby sleeping in a crib

Though they are rare, and most adoptions go through seamlessly, revocations by birth parents happen. In BC, birth parents have 30 days from the time their child is born to change their minds and decide to parent their child. Usually those 30 days pass by, albeit slowly, and the parents can breathe a sigh of […]

Mail brings unexpected connection

A black mailbox.

When Chelsea was adopted, her young birthmom gave a letter, photo, bracelet, and blanket to her daughter. At first, her adoptive parents sent letters and photos via their social worker. Then each family moved and contact was lost—until now. When I was a little girl, I used to love to jump out of the car […]

The grandmother clause

A grandmother and granddaughter drawing together at a table.

The impact of including grandparents in the adoption (and post-adoption) process. The impact of open adoption on birth and adoptive families is only beginning to be understood. Recent research explores the perspectives of birth grandmothers who had direct contact with their birth grandchildren. The findings clearly demonstrate some of the benefits and challenges of open […]

Explaining the need to know my birth family

A young girl stands in front of a mirror, her reflection showing a sad and confused expression. She appears to be deep in thought, perhaps contemplating something troubling.

“If I were an adoptee, I think I’d want to search for my birth parents. I’d be curious, I think,” Cathy tells me. “Oh, no, I wouldn’t want to,” says Joanne. “I was raised by my biological parents and I may look like them, but I am nothing like them in personality. Who cares whose […]

Living openness: On showing up

Parent and child holding hands at beach

Getting to know you Someone once said that “ninety percent of life is showing up.” This is particularly true in open adoption – something I learned from my son’s birth dad, William. We met William, and his very pregnant girlfriend Sierra, four years ago. He was late, and we were nervous. Sierra’s mother had blown […]

What is open adoption?

A child's adoptive family and birth family looking at the sunset.

Ask five people what their definition of open adoption is and you are likely to get five answers. Some may think that allowing an expectant parent to choose the prospective adoptive parents from a profile of non-identifying information is an open adoption. Still others may say that those who met prior to placement and who […]

Open adoption for birth parents

Newborn holding his parents' hands.

A guide that covers the basics of openness and adoption for birth parents. Birth parents matter Sometimes you might not feel like it, but you are important to your child. Even if you are not parenting your child, it doesn’t mean you can’t play an important role—you can. Kids usually want to know where they […]

Finding lost family through the Internet

A family using a laptop and a mobile phone.

As I prepared to adopt, I knew there was a “right” answer when it came to openness. Openness was good, and I needed to come across like I believed it. The truth was, openness scared me silly. What I really hoped was that any child we adopted would have an unfortunate, yet complete, lack of […]

Finding families closer to home

A smiling teenager with her grandparents. Her arms are around the two grandparents.

The Belonging Network (TBN) programs prove that, in many cases, there are people in a child’s existing network who are willing to adopt the child. Social workers Kirsty Stormer and Anne Melcombe explain how these programs work. Ed. Note: Two of the Belonging Network’s social workers are funded by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption […]

What I’ve learned about openness and adoption

Little girl holding the hands of her two moms.

Karen Madeiros, former Executive Director of the Belonging Network, shares her insights as an adoptive mother of two children from the US. Having personally experienced and witnessed the evolution of openness in adoption, she reflects on the valuable lessons learned from her journey. Why did you open up your adoptions? Like many prospective adoptive parents, […]