Adoption is a beautiful and challenging adventure, that affects birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees in different and profound ways. Adopted children who are now grown have incredibly varied experiences and reflect on their lives as adoptees in different ways.

Here are some wonderful quotes from grown adoptees about their lives as adopted children, what they wish their adoptive parents knew, and their thoughts on their birth parents:

“Our past is part of who we are…I have four parents (more actually, since my in-laws have been parents to me, too). Despite the nay-sayers, I am actually capable of loving more than two people in the world.”

“I am very happy & sad that i was adopted because 1. I have very nice adopted parents That is why I am happy & 2. I was never able to grow up with my birth cousins. That is why I am sad.  You ask if i ever want to see my birth family ever again here is my answer I really don’t know if i want to.”

“The love and relationship between me and my adoptive parents is the same as any other family with biological children.”

“My life as an adoptee has been wonderful. I could not have asked for better, kinder, more loving adoptive parents than the ones I have had…Recently, with a little luck and using the internet I have been able to locate 8 of my 9 half brothers and sisters and my birth mother… It has been a wonderful experience for me to meet them and include them in my life. It has brought some closure to my life and has answered many questions for me.”

“Anyone who is considering adopting a child needs to be very grateful to the birth parents. Birth parents are making the ultimate sacrifice and adoptive parents are benefiting from it. As an adoptive parent, you owe it to your child to be open and honest. And please, adopt openly! You child WILL want to know someday and you should be able to provide the facts for him/her…Admit that your child is different from you. Do not tell people how much your child looks like you or another family member, that is impossible! Do not give the pediatrician your medical history as if it belonged to your child as well. It does not! Accept the fact that you did not give birth to the child. In other words, please accept reality.”

“For those of you looking to adopt, I applaud you. I also caution you, that a child can love you and still feel as if something is missing. Don’t ever feel less than a wonderful parent. Give them the understanding that they need to heal.”

“I wish my parents had known that it was not necessary to answer questions like “where did she get her hair color?”; that it is more important to think about how your child will react to words in the long run than how some impertinent stranger will react today. I wish they had known how big a deal it is to have to give up dreams of having biological children and investigate adoption. I wish somehow they could know how a person can love a child at the moment of birth and forever. I hope they can understand that all three of “us: ” they, my birth mother, and I, all need(ed) each other in the grand scheme of life.”

“Never, never keep the adoption a secret from your family or from the adoptee. If you do it will only cause hate and discontent in your life later on. If you are planning to adopt a child in a closed adoption situation, keep and remember everything that you can. Start a folder of things that you know about the birth parents. When your child becomes of majority age in your state, and in the event that they want to know who their birth parents are they will find the information that you kept the most valuable gift you could have ever have given them next to a loving and caring family.”