Questions to ask birth parents, answers adoptees wish they had.....
We were just selected as adoptive parents, and it will be a closed adoption.

The birth parents have asked us to come up with any questions we might want them to answer, and I would appreciate ANY suggestions. I have been reading the threads here, and plan to get a form from my GP about medical history for the birth parents to fill out.

BUT what about other questions adopted children have as they grow up ? If you were adopted, what did you want to know about your birthparents or your background ?

My list of questions asks about medical issues, ethnic background, and if they have anything they want the child to know about themselves or their decision.....

Do you have any other ideas ?
My children are very interested in little things ...

What did their birth parents like to do when they were children. What are their favorite foods, what type of music do they like, what did they like to do in school, where is their favorite place to visit ...

Favorite colors, subjects, books (children's books especially) ... favorite memories

What special talents do they have? What age did they learn to walk, talk, read etc (that is important for you to know for your pediatrician believe it or not ...)

Are there any special learning needs in the family? Does anyone wear glasses? At what age did they start?

I am sure others will come up with some more ...

Jen
Yes as Jen said - even the little details! Everything from the important to the mundane. Jen has good suggestions re: fav food, music, memories. Also, I was very interested in ethnicity, religion and physical traits - not just of bmom and bdad but of grandparents too. Like, when did they get grey hair or go bald? Height and hair and eye colour of all family members were interesting to me as well.
All the above was important to me as an adoptee and I would just add one more thing. Would the birthparents be open to contact later on when the child is an adult?

For some adoptees seeing a physical reflection of yourself in another person is important. Having pictures of what your birthfamily looks like is nice because when I had my children I kept wondering who they would look like.
I would reiterate the pictures as well. Pictures at all ages ... my kids would love to have pictures of their birth parents at the ages they are now.
Vanessa, I think it is so awesome that you are asking that question and that you are reading the stories on the forum. Back in the era that I was adopted my parents were given NO information. There were NO answers to my questions. To complicate matters I am now realizing that my parents could never talk about my birthparents as it would make them feel as "less" of a parent (if that makes sense). My parents never validated my feelings causing me such confusion growing up. On another thread my great friend, MariMari, posted this:
I read once that when we have children and lets say that they fall down, rather than saying after they fall down, get up, you're OK, we'd better serve and validate them by saying something like, oh, that must have hurt, then encourage them to get up and go...and as little babies who are adopted to say something like you must be missing your mother, and how that must hurt...little things go a long way in encouraging emotional validation...our feelings are important.
The gals on the forum have given you a great list of questions to ask. Do you think it would be possible to ask the bparents to make a scrapbook, or enough pictures and handwritten items and family momentos so that you can make one? I have often thought how awesome it would've been to have a scrapbook about "where I came from."

Good luck to you. And thanks again for asking for our input.
Vanessa,

I'm going to pm you. Smile

Nicole
Just to echo what the other's have said, Little things matter. Maybe some letter's written by the b-parents about their lives and where this child fit into all that. Something about the families this child came from. I just wished I had anything from my b-parents as well as the medical info. and a physical discription, I wanted an idea of what their hearts were like.
In my search I have discovered that my biological mother has passed away. I would dearly love a picture of her around the time that I was born. I always wanted to know if I looked like her, ethnicity and religion are important. I just sent off for her social security application and I am praying that her signature might be on it (why?) to see if our handwriting is similar. I think most of us just want to connect with something biological since we never have that opportunity until we have children of our own. Bless you and the changeing times for considering these questions. I was told my whole life the standard, pat answer most adoptee's get "she gave you away because she couldn't give you the things she wanted to be able to give you, or everything you'd need." When my non-id info came in there was a blip in there about how she felt that her parents/family would not accept me and her and somehow that felt more true and gave me some comfort. Your child's going to want to know the answer to the big WHY someday an honest answer is always the best so you might ask for some small details on the why question. Best of luck!
Gosh, I think the biggest question I had was "who do I look like?". When I received my non-identifying information it covered alot more information then I imagined.

Jen, I wouldn't have thought to ask half those questions growing up. You're boys are so smart.

I would have been nice to have pictures of her and her family. I'll never ever know what my bdad looked like.
I always wondered. (if your not adopting from birth) child hood memories. I was adopted at six and by that time you can remember most the things that are happening to you. but i missed out on learning that during thunder storms i cried til my bmom picked me up. things that i am just learning now beacuse i just got contact with my bmom.

I would also would have loved a picture of both my bparents. it would help with my identity.

I would want to know there religon. That is part of who i am.

I would want to know there race and ethnic background like you mentioned. I didnt have that and i had no clue who i was. i just learned of it and it was scary once i learned.

The truth. I would want the real reason my bmom gave me up. not some made up tail to make it sound better then it is.

Most important support when she.he asks abotu the bmom

sorry if i gave too much
I am seriously seriously late with this, but, in all honesty...


DETAILED FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY.

No really. That has been, in my life, the biggest thing that I didn't have. I'd love pictures, I'd love small details. Really, I would, but the medical history could have saved me thousands of dollars and a LOT of time.
yes, as much medical history as you can get. Pictures if you can.
family ethnicity,
etc.

As an adoptee, I really want to know that stuff. I also love the idea of having them write a letter to the child.
really really late in answering
beyond medical info. (which will change in 20 years anyways, with how fast technology and science are working together)
This sounds so silly but these are things as an adult i think about:
I have wanted to know that:
My bmom thinks of me on my birthday
I know my bmom wanted me to be happy and successful in life...but how? did she want me to get married, have kids, explore the world, serve others.

As she choose adoption, i would want to know, what kind of dreams and hopes did she have for me with my a-parents.

Now this as an adult, as a child growing up pictures and little get to know you things...would have been really awesome.
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