Ways for First Parents Share History with Their Child

From, Wrobel + Grotevant, Minding the (Information) Gap: What do Emerging Adult Adoptees Want to Know about their Birth Parents?, we know that the most frequently sought information by adult adoptees is medical and health history.

After medical and health information, the top five items of specific curiosity in order:

  1. Birth parents’ reason for placing the child for adoption.
  2. Whether or not one’s birth parent was parenting other children
  3. Birth parent appearance
  4. How the birth parent is doing overall
  5. Birth parent personality

Who better to answer all of these questions that the birth parent themselves?

If you have placed a child for adoption or had one removed through the child protection system, you can give them a great gift by sharing about yourself and your story.

While it can be emotionally challenging, there are a wide variety of ways to compile your history and share as much of your story as you want, in any way that you would like to. No matter what you choose, you will be filling in holes that no one else can.

No good points about who I was or what I had worked hard for were ever included in any court published writing about me so far.

Avoiding (share) this with her, is unfair because I’m now possibly the only one of the two of us with the memory of it.

Katherine Silva, birth mom of children removed through foster care

This is your chance you share about all the things you want them to know.

Options for Compiling Your History

Getting It To Your Child

  • Adoptive / Foster Parent – If you have direct contact, you can send it to their current parenting parents.
  • Adult Child – If you have contact with your adult child, go ahead and hand it off to them
  • Private Agency – If you placed your child through a private agency, you can give whatever you compile to them and they will place in in your “file” and will pass it along to your child when they ask for it.
  • County Agency / State DCFS – If your child was removed through child welfare and placed elsewhere, give to the county or state that handled your case.
  • Leave in Will – If nothing else, you can leave your compiled story, history and photos to your child in your will with as much contact information as you have.

Medical History Form

There are a variety of forms to gather information about your and your families medical history. Below are a few options, the state doesn’t matter as this isn’t an “official” form, but it is a great way to be sure to capture all important medical information.

  • Maine – very detailed
  • Wisconsin – another detailed option
  • Minnesota – Section G of below

Memory Book Creation Service

Storyworth – Preserve meaningful moments and memories in a beautiful keepsake book. Then, share the experience with loved ones and discover stories you never knew.

Porch Swing Stories – Capture Your Life’s Stories on a StorySite and in a Book Today

LiveOn – Video zoom interviews with storyteller, then edited into a video, audiobook and/or e-book.

Guided Journals

Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy, by Sunny Morton Record the stories of your life–or a loved one’s–for posterity! The Story of My Life workbook makes it easy: Simply follow the prompts to preserve memories from your entire life. The book includes sections on parents, siblings, childhood, high school, career, and adulthood. There’s also space to note vital statistics about yourself and immediate family members as a genealogical record.

Letters to My Baby: Write Now. Read Later. Treasure Forever. by Lea Redmond  Included are 12 letters that begin with a unique prompt like: On the day you were born…, My wishes for you are…, Your first home was like this… A fresh twist on a guided journal or memory book, capture these special moments with your little one during early parenthood to share in the years to come.

All About Me: A Guided Journal of Facts for Birthparents and Adoptees by Catherine S Deva This guided journal of facts was created by a birthmother who is in reunion with the daughter that she had given up for adoption in 1990. It is perfect for those in early reunion, beginning their search or just entering the adoption triad to share their story and information. Adoption, search, and reunion can be overwhelming with so many questions and answers. However sometimes, we just don’t know what to say or if we should ask. This journal addresses all the tough questions each party may have for each other without creating the feeling of being rude and prying. It also allows the individual a chance to answer completely, avoiding that awkward feeling that you may say something wrong.

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The best options for first parents to share their story with the child, by writing a letter, completing a Medical History, guided journal, video or memory book.

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