Dear birth parents

Focus on Adoption magazine

A letter from an adoptee

For most of my life, I hadn’t thought about my birth parents: where I came from, who they were, or why they had chosen to give me up. For me, the only thing that mattered was that I had parents who loved me and who chose to be my parents.

When I met my biological father just over three years ago, I was overwhelmed by his reaction to reconnecting with me. He spoke as though he had known me and loved me for my entire life—this “stranger” who hadn’t crossed my mind even once as I had transitioned through childhood and into my adult years.

What's your family fit?

Focus on Adoption magazine

Take this quiz, developed by Speak-Out Youth members April and Courtney, to see what kind of family is the right fit for you!

Question 1

You’ve just come from a long day at school. What would you like to come home to?

a) Lots of brothers and sisters jumping off the walls and inviting you to play.
b) Your mom and dad waiting for you, ready to go on a bike ride.
c) Your mom, cooking dinner, ready to hear all about your day.
d) An after-school snack of homemade cookies while you do your homework with your siblings and wait for your dad to come home.

The adoption

Focus on Adoption magazine

A childless couple
An orphaned, young lad
A hope for a family
Was all that they had

Mountains of paperwork
And countless tears
This road never easy
And financially dear

Waiting by the phone
Praying for the call
They relied on each other
So neither would fall

That phone call did come
They were Africa bound
That message, still fresh
The most beautiful sound

James was his name
A boy, almost done
He’d meet us in Ghana
And become our new son

The upside of openness

Focus on Adoption magazine

At the beginning of our adoption, emotions were high, birth family visits were frequent, and roles were unclear. Well-meaning friends and family members suggested that it might just be “a whole lot easier if our adoption was closed.” We could bond with our baby without interference, and the birth parents could “get on with their lives.”

Always my little girl

Focus on Adoption magazine

What a difference three years can make.

We recently attended an interracial adoptive families get together. It is a valuable resource for all of us. Our daughter gets to see other families that look like ours, and my wife and I get to hear other experiences that help us realize we’re not doing that badly.

Fathers and daughters

Focus on Adoption magazine

What is it about fathers and daughters? Why is it that fathers are supposed to worry so much about their daughters, their future, their behaviour, their friends? No real reason anymore, in this day and age, at least, no more than they should worry about a son. But still we make jokes about it, still we tend to be more strict with our girls, and tend to worry that little bit extra.

What do you mean, "half adopted?"

Focus on Adoption magazine

Donor conception–a type of adoption?

As a donor-conceived person, I have used the phrase “half adopted,” because for some of us donor-conceived people that is how we see our family situation. In the classical sense of donor conception (DC), we have one parent who is biologically related to us and another who is not. In essence, this non-biological parent is in fact agreeing to raise and care for a child who has been conceived by their partner and another person. In effect, they are agreeing to adopt this child as their own.

Reflections on being a waiting parent

Focus on Adoption magazine

I can’t remember the first time I learned the term “waiting parent.” But somewhere along my journey of building a family, the term has become second nature. It was like a category was added to my identity. Some might have described me as a woman, wife, student, football fan, queer, Polish – but when all the paperwork was submitted – I was also a “waiting parent.”


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