As the adoptive parent, it is our job to help our child form and feel birth family connections and roots. We are the encouragers of these connections. Every adoption scenario looks different, so let’s talk about what that can look like for each case.
- Some form of open adoption with their birth mom or any biological family member: This type of scenario is definitely the simplest scenario to have easy connections for your child. In an open adoption, you can reach out to get your questions answered and pass that info along to your child. You can get very specific information that can really put a personal twist to these connections for your child.
- Closed adoption: You can still pull things from your child’s state/country/culture/heritage for he/she to have connections to! One thing I did in our house for our daughter, who was born in Arizona, was decorate our house with cactuses. We always talk about how she was born in the “land of cactuses” as she says, and having little decorative cactuses here and there is a super easy (and cute!) way to keep that connection strong for her. We also buy her clothes that have cactuses on them, as well as ourselves. This can be done in any type of open or closed adoption.
Ideas To keep Your Child’s Birth Family Connections
Ensuring birth family connections long term takes being intentional. These are some great ways to help your child embrace their birth family connections and encourage them to celebrate their heritage.
- Bake/make food of their culture/heritage. If your adoption is open, ask your child’s biological family what some of their favorite foods to make and eat are of their culture. If your adoption is closed, google search some recipes.
- Celebrate a cultural holiday. My daughter’s biological makeup is part Mexican, so we started a tradition to make a pinata and homemade churros every year on Cinco de Mayo. After connecting with her birth dad again this year, the person she gets her Mexican heritage from, I found out what his family typically does/eats on Cinco de Mayo and will try to recreate that in our home for next year.
- Connect your child to people that look like them, whether this be in your church, friend groups, local businesses, coworkers, etc.
- Have a picture of your child’s biological family somewhere in their room. If you don’t have that, maybe a picture of them in their birth location/hospital, something that connects them to their beginnings.
- Celebrate your children’s biological parents’ birthdays. Every year on my daughter’s birthday, we make some kind of dessert and sing the Happy Birthday song together. Sometimes we record it and share it with her birth mom. This shows your child how you incorporate their first family with yours.
- Make visits back to their birthplace a priority. Whether your child’s adoption is open or closed, this is something that can always be done! Sight see. Visit the adoption agency you went through. Maybe go by the hospital your child was born at. The ways to explore are endless, and this is a strong way for your child to make memories in their birth state!
Share Your Ways Of Establishing Family Connections
The possibilities for birth family connections for your child are truly endless. What’s something you’ve done with your adopted child to keep them connected to their beginnings? We would love to hear! Email Lizzy at firstname.lastname@example.org to share! Make sure to also subscribe to our newsletters for future information and education.