November is National Adoption Month - a time of celebration for adoptees and their families all around the world. It’s a time when gratitude is expressed for the amazing gift of a child who did not come from their adoptive parents' flesh and blood, but from their hopes and dreams. From their desire to make their family whole and to have a son or daughter to bestow their love on. For most adoptees, this month can be about healing any old wounds, or for some about putting a past of abandonment and severed connections behind them and rejoicing in knowing that they are wanted, valued and loved.

We know that in the shadow of these times, there are many who feel compelled to force a smile. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge and honour those whose search for their birth family did not have a happy ending:

  • Adoptees who have little to no information about their birth family, making their search sometimes seem hopeless.

  • Birth parents who have exhausted all leads trying to find the children they once had to part with through adoption.

  • People who have poured their soul, hopes and resources into searching for their biological relatives, but their desire to reconnect was not mutual.

  • People who have had to come to terms with the fact reunion will never be possible for them, because their birth relatives have passed away.

  • Adoptees whose reunion with their birth family has been unfulfilling - who faced rejection or disappointment or have uncovered unsettling circumstances surrounding their birth and adoption.

National Adoption Month is their celebration as well, even if it sometimes comes with empty arms and a painful twinge in their heart. And they need and deserve to be reminded of the reasons their adoption reunion journey is worthy of honour, regardless of its outcome:

It takes true courage and determination

Making the decision to look back on an unclear past, which often holds unanswered questions, insecurity and pain, is always an act of bravery. Anyone who has experienced adoption and chose to seek out their biological relatives has had to face the spectre of having some of their worst scenarios come true.

Adoptees who took this leap of faith were valiant enough to overcome the fear of being rejected or disappointed. And they were committed enough to push forward through the many obstacles on the way. While they were not able to control the outcome of this quest, they put themselves forward and opened their hearts towards a familiar stranger.

This inner strength, courage and resilience deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated. It is an asset in all aspects of life and it is definitely something to be proud of.

It is a testament of growth

Just like iron is moulded under heat and pressure, the human soul is shaped by the powerful emotions that wash across it. And few experiences provide a wider range of both positive and negative sentiment than searching for one’s birth family. Simply walking every step of this journey - through the initial anxiety and anticipation of the decision to start, to remaining hopeful through fears and setbacks and to finally facing the disillusionment of an undesired outcome - is life-changing. It implies a significant amount of soul searching, of processing new realities and adapting to often unforeseen circumstances.

While psychologically challenging, this experience is also a compelling factor of personal development and growth. After undergoing the intense labour of coming to terms with the conclusion of their adoption reunion story, the person who comes out on the other side is often stronger, wiser and with a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them than the one who went in.

It is a monument of hope

It may sound strange to think that an adoption reunion journey which did not have a fortunate outcome should be celebrated as a testament of hope. But as humans living uncertain lives in a universe which lies beyond our understanding, hope is the most priceless resource we have and the most difficult to let go of.

And this journey has brought out all the hope that one could muster. In many cases, even after decades of fruitless search, there is still some flicker of it left, on the wild chance one day a miracle may happen: a message may be received, a phone may ring…and sometimes it does. Where there has been rejection, there is often a glimmer of hope of reconsideration. Even if one’s biological relatives have passed away, some adoptees hold spiritual beliefs that they might still be reunited on a different plane of existence.

But what if all hope is gone and peace has been made with the idea that being reunited with one’s birth family will never be possible? Then this is a good time to commemorate the dreams that once lived and powered this quest. They were valid, they were natural and they led to a path which eventually held some form of closure, even if it did not hold the desired outcome. They removed the tormenting “what if?...” and “should I?...” and allowed one to move on with certainty where before there were only questions.

This November, we are here for you!

If your adoption reunion story did not (yet) have a happy ending, we, at Adopted.com, see you and celebrate you. And this November, you are in our thoughts more than ever. That is why we have a message for you, which we hope will help make your Adoption Month easier:

If your adoption reunion journey has not fully ended, there is always hope!

Over the years, we have received many reunion stories from members who have found their biological family after long years of searching, when they had all but given up. If you have been unable to find your birth relatives so far and fear you never will, we invite you to register for free with Adopted.com, the world’s largest online adoption reunion registry. Once you complete your own form with the information you possess about the person you are searching for (you can even upload your DNA data) then, our specially-devised algorithm will cross-reference your data with that of the over 1 million member profiles already on our platform and will immediately provide your results.

Should you not receive a match immediately, do not give up. Once the person you are looking for also starts searching for you and creates a profile, we will contact you and let you know, even if this happens months or years after you first signed up. With more and more people joining our community daily, there is a real chance your adoption reunion story will one day have a happy ending after all.

If your adoption reunion journey had a difficult ending, we’re here for support!

If, for any reason, you have found that being reunited with your birth family was impossible or was a difficult experience, it is natural to feel disillusioned. Dreams of what could be are the hardest to let go of and it takes so much emotional work to get closure and put those dreams behind you. Even after time has passed and healing has begun, old feelings can still bubble up to the surface around events such as Adoption Month. But you don’t have to face these emotions alone.

There are over 1 million people in the Adopted.com community who have all been through the same search for their lost biological relatives. And some of them have also experienced the same kind of disappointing hurdles that you might have encountered. They are there to welcome you, listen to your story, share their own with you and help you through the more difficult times. Once you create a free membership with Adopted.com, you will have your own community page where you can join the conversation. You will find that any burden is lighter to bear when supported by others who have also felt its weight, and that healing comes faster among friends.


Adopted.com is the world’s largest database of Voluntary Adoption Records.
We're a community-based platform dedicated to supporting curiosity and connection.

Voluntary, discreet, and constantly growing, Adopted.com is where new reunions happen every day.