Birth Family Relationships

As adults, we all know where babies come from. Yet as we parent the children we adopted through the sniffles and broken bones and first recitals and first broken hearts, it's easy to forget where our children came from. The "raw material" that God used to create our children came from two living, eternal human beings.

While other chapters in the book Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family deal primarily with the identity issues common to most families who have adopted, this module will focus on the actual relationship with birth family members. There's a difference between knowing information about someone and actually having a relationship with him or her. In our well-connected world, it is more likely than ever that your child will now, or someday in the future, have contact or relationships with the people who brought him into this world.

For starters, modern-day adoption encourages sharing with children from the beginning that they were adopted. This story, however it is told, usually includes the role of the birth mother, and perhaps, other members of the birth family.

A wide array of children's books available today help families make this story come to life. Even if a book portrays a different adoption scenario, it helps your child understand that adoption can happen different ways, with the result of a loving family.

What most books don't address is what it's like to have two different parents with two very different roles (unlike a divorce and/or remarriage family situation).

You may find you are writing you and your child's own story as you go along.

Bonus content originally excerpted from Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family, published by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., © 2008 by Sanford Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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