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First/Birth Parents

Check out some of Pact’s most timely and popular publications. For permission to reprint or repost, please contact Beth Hall at

What I Wish I Had Known

2014 When we asked Pact members what they wish they had known before they adopted, we weren’t sure what kind of response we would get. The feedback we received, overwhelming in volume, was primarily from white parents parenting children of color. Clear themes emerged,...

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“Mom, I have something to tell you…”

by Beth Hall 2014 Mom… Hey, sweetie! Mom, I have something to tell you. For those of you who have adult children old enough to live away from home, you will no doubt recognize the fear these words put into the hearts of parents. Is anything wrong? No, no, at least I...

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Marketing Motherhood: Ethics in Adoption Recruitment

by Parker Dockray and Susan Dusza Guerra Leksander 2017 Mother’s Day can bring fraught feelings for many of us. This is particularly true for mothers touched by adoption, whether as first/birth mothers or as adoptive mothers, because for both groups there remains...

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Choice in Adoption: A Birth Mom’s Call to Empathy

by Kathleen Neilsen 2015 Choice is treasured in our society. From what we eat, to where we shop, to what we watch on television, Americans value having options. Some hypothesize that this value is associated with being members of a capitalist society. Regardless of...

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What Adoptees Want Their Birth Parents to Know

by Katie Wynen 2015 Adoption literature is dominated by the voices of adoptive parents, with a sprinkling of adoptee voices and even fewer birth parent voices. The book Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew by Sherrie Eldridge was published in...

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Letter to Our School: We Have a New Baby by Adoption!

2014  Families often consult Pact about how to tell their communities when they have a new baby join their family through adoption. Adoptive parents James and Heidi sent the following letter to parents and teachers in their school community, and gave us permission to...

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Doubting Fathers in the Child Welfare System

by Rosalio Chavoya 2018 In July 2018, Rosalio Chavoya shared his experiences with the child welfare and criminal justice systems as a guest speaker at Pact Family Camp West. The perspective of the father is often ignored or neglected when talking about foster care and...

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Understanding adoption and pregnancy decision-making

by Gretchen Sisson, PhD 2019 The decisions women make about pregnancy and childbearing are often the subject of intense political scrutiny and debate. Frequently, these conversations present adoption as a panacea for social challenges of all stripes, including teen...

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The Mothers that Mother’s Day Forgot

by Michele Rabkin 2016 As Mother’s Day approaches, you may be shopping for greeting cards. You can easily find a card for your mother, your grandmother, your mother-in-law, or for that special woman who has been “like a mother” to you. What you can’t find is one for...

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