Overcast   28.0F  |  Forecast »
Edit Module

Make a Lifebook for Your Adoptive Child

These special scrapbooks are a key connection to helping your child understand his or her past

It's natural for adopted children to eventually have questions about their lives – including who their birth parents are and why they were adopted-away from their birth family. All kids deserve to know about their lives. But adoptive parents can struggle with how to delve into their child's past.

A lifebook is a key starting point for many families. This is a scrapbook that parents put together from scratch – sometimes with the help from a social worker or other supportive people – telling the child's story.

Why a lifebook?

"A lifebook connects a child to their roots with pictures and words," says Dina Novelli, adoption supervisor at Evergreen Children Services, a private, nonprofit foster care and adoption agency in Detroit. Novelli believes the lifebook causes fewer gaps in the child's childhood – and answers the question of, "Who Am I?"

"If you don't fill in gaps they do it themselves, and that (can) become detrimental," says Novelli.

What it includes

The lifebook has three essential components:

  • Basic information about child's birth
  • Details about the child's birth parents
  • Explaining why the child was adopted

It's important to document as much as possible, Novelli says, from basic facts to memories. Getting details about the child's birth parents is even important.

Sometimes, though, kids are adopted when they are a little older, so parents wouldn't know about their childhood. That's where the lifebook becomes even more critical: It physically can take the place of a birth certificate and other "evidences of growing up," according to Arizona-based Adoption.com.

"This would be harder, but parents could try to get pictures from their foster care," Novelli says. No matter what records parents can obtain, however, "they should definitely start from the date they adopt the child."

Novelli and her team are sure to mention lifebooks to parents that are looking to adopt: "We encourage all parents to do this. It is really good for the child."

Your lifebook

The lifebook can be created in many different ways. Two of the most popular are a picture book and a chapter book. The chapter book is know for expressing the child's life with imagery and words – which can help clarify any questions the child might have.

You can opt to use a company to create your child's lifebook, such as Adoption Lifebooks. Other sites provide layout ideas and inspiration, such as Scrap and Tell. Find a good 411 at Suite101.com – and maps of specific countries (and special cutouts with adoptive families in mind) at Red Thread Maps.

However you approach your lifebook, it can be as tailored – and go as far as – the child and parents want.

"The lifebook has no limitation at all," Novelli says, noting that additions are common. "The child could now be graduating college. If they want that rite of passage in the book, they definitely should go for it."

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Holiday Ham Recipes

Holiday Ham Recipes

Still looking for some ideas for your big holiday dinner? This year, try a new recipe for your Christmas ham – thanks to these ideas from Taste of Home, Pillsbury and more.

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids: Holiday Picture Frame

Hanukkah Crafts for Kids: Holiday Picture Frame

If you're celebrating the holiday and looking for quick and easy crafts for kids, this fun and affordable little keepsake is a great way to display family memories.

Dad Gets Unexpected Reaction to Terrible Christmas Gifts

Dad Gets Unexpected Reaction to Terrible Christmas Gifts

British dad pranks his kids with bad Christmas presents, but didn't get the reaction he was expecting – and it's pretty sweet.

Simple Holiday Family Crafts to Make with On-Hand Material

Simple Holiday Family Crafts to Make with On-Hand Material

Does your family have paper cups, Legos, plastic spoons or toilet-paper rolls lying around? Transform them into angels, snowmen and even a chimney for Santa!

Bath Time Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

Bath Time Safety Tips for Babies and Toddlers

What's the best way to bathe your child? How can you keep them safe in the tub? A pediatric doctor at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit has tips.

Snowman Dessert Recipes: Tasty and Cute Ideas

Snowman Dessert Recipes: Tasty and Cute Ideas

Who doesn't love Frosty the Snowman? Kids will enjoy making – and eating! – some of these adorable and delicious snowman recipes.

Holiday Stamping Favorite Supplies from Stampin' Up

Holiday Stamping Favorite Supplies from Stampin' Up

Crafty company Stampin' Up offers a variety of fun stampers, punches and paper that transform into cool gift tags, cards and other fun DIY projects.

Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement