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Why is it so hard to recommend resources? 

"What resources do you recommend?"

This is a common question I hear as an adoptee coach and I hesitate to reply. In fact, I had to think long and hard over the ethical ramifications of a page like this on my website. Here's why: 

  • 'The resource' you are looking for does not exist. Everything you will find below are generalized and impersonal resource dump. (Don't get me wrong, lots of AMAZING resources in them) However, your adoption experience is 100% unique, and 100% personal. It's great to see what blog posts are available for Korean Adoptees or discover some statistics about adoption laws, but that information isn't necessarily what you need as an adoptee leaving the fog. I know, I know - we adoptees are information junkies, always researching ourselves, nitpicking our behaviors, and categorizing our personalities. We are hungry for more information, but too much information overwhelms us. You will find a lot in the resources laid out below, but just because they are there that doesn't mean you should binge them all in one night or think your situation can be explained away if you read a few books. Recovering from adoption is an integrative, experienced, and life-long pursuit.

As much as we try, we can't read, research, and categorize the realities of being an adoptee away. 


  • Many 'adoption' resources are written for ADOPTERS, not adoptees. Almost anything that comes up after a google search is not designed with the best interest of adoptees in mind, even when the sources are 'written by adoptees'. Agencies and other organizations that profit off of coercive adoption practices tend to bring on adoptees to write 'guest blogs' or 'adoptee-focused articles' - but these articles are usually designed to make their agency look good and paint the picture of 'adoptees are so lucky.' This is not the type of source recovering adoptees need. Because of this nuance, it can be hard to vet an article or blog based on the headline or the initial appearance of a website. 

  • Resources are always changing. Sometimes I find a list of adoptee podcasts or blogs only to find out it hasn't been updated for years. Other times a site that was centering the adoptee's voice suddenly changes its tune and speaks over the adoptee's experience in favor of the adopter, confusing the adoptees who seek support through the site. I try to keep this list up-to-date, but I cannot guarantee any of these will permanently be good, healthy resources for an adoptee.

  • Some of the most useful sources are very heady. Adoption has already made our lives complicated enough, so I don't want to throw an already-overwhelmed adoptee into clinical studies and complicated details. It turns into a bunch of mumbo-jumbo and doesn't really help the individual adoptee reclaim their story. Nonetheless, I included a few academic sources in the list below for those of us who are curious. 

  • Online adoptee forums often become negative echo chambers. I want adoptees to connect with people who will help them find community and heal. Unfortunately, there is a LOT of negativity, discouragement, and anger in online groups. It's ok to immerse yourself in those things for a while while you are finding your voice, but too much exposure will drag you down, aggravate your adoptee wounds and keep you in a bad headspace. I do not recommend adoptee support groups without discussing with clients one-on-one the dangers and opportunities of finding a support group. 

  • Just because you CAN search for biological family doesn't mean you are ready to. I know how badly we adoptees want to rush into biological family search. We tend to be a little impulsive  (and why shouldn't we be, after a lifetime of not knowing who we are?) but a reunion is VERY delicate. More delicate than it may appear. It re-opens the pain of adoption for everyone involved, in ways that are impossible to anticipate. You can absolutely pursue the information if you want, just like you can take a DNA test for Christmas 'just for fun' - but being emotionally ready for the journey, aware of how trauma will impact the reactions of those you seek, and being truly ready to unpack the grief and complex sense of self that is inherently involved in a biological family reunion is really not something you should just jump into.

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