International Adoption Reunions on The Rise

More and more adoptees are seeking out their birth parents, international adoption reunions are particularly becoming more popular.

Ashley Foster July 02, 2018
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It’s no secret that adoption reunions are on the rise, especially international reunions. With the help of the internet, DNA testing, and better record keeping, the adoptee population is having many more successful international reunions. Since the 1950s, millions of children have been adopted from countries all over the globe and brought to the U.S.

NPR just did a story featuring two women who were experiencing international adoption reunions. Shana Kaufman didn’t consider searching for her birth family until she and her husband went through the process of adopting their son from South Korea. It took the agency around three weeks to locate her birth parents. Kaufman learned her adoption story differed from the one she had been told. She was not placed by a single mother as she had always believed, but by a married couple who could not afford another child together. Regardless, seeing the physical resemblance in a photo was very satisfying.

Another adoptee, Ashley Westerman, flew across the world to meet her birth mother at the Heart of Mary Villa, a home for unwed mothers in Manila. Westerman spent 10 months there as an orphaned infant while she awaited adoption. She found her adoption story to be accurate. Her birth mother had since married and had more children. Although there were no striking physical similarities, she did find answers she had been looking for.

Debbie Riley, CEO of the Center for Adoption Support and Education, says there has been quite an uptick in international adoption reunions, although the actual statistics are unknown. Social media has played a huge role in the search and reunion process, with many adoptees conducting their investigations on their own or with the help of others in adoptee Facebook groups.

You can learn more information about international adoption searches by visiting our website here.

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Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees' rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at

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