Wednesday, November 10, 2010


What are Lifebooks

A Lifebook is a record of a foster/adopted child’s life that uses words, photos, the child’s artwork, and memorabilia. It is like a scrapbook but provides different information and details than your average scrapbook.

Lifebook Page Ideas

  • The day you were born
  • How your parents found out about you
  • Waiting for you
  • Meeting you
  • Your birth family and/or foster family or orphanage
  • Your family tree (both families as much as possible)
  • Adoption day
  • Visits with your birth family
  • About your birth country
Lifebook Journaling Ideas
  • Dates of important events and milestones
  • Names of social workers, facilitators and agency officials
  • Locations and names of foster families and orphanages
  • Meeting birth family members or correspondence with them (if available)
  • Weather and news headlines on their adoption day and/or birthday
  • Making the decision to adopt
  • Your thoughts and feelings about the adoption process
  • Poetry and quotations about adoption
  • Foods eaten, sights seen on their day of birth or adoption day
  • Stories about traveling home
  • Details of the first days together as a family

Reasons to Make Lifebooks

Throughout the adoptee’s life, he or she will hear about the day she arrived into the family. Stories abound from that point. The child’s birth and birth family are not discussed as often, usually because the new family members lack the personal knowledge of the birth family’s story. The lifebook helps to fill that void.

Lifebooks Provide:

  • A concrete tool for meaningful conversation
  • An adoption security blanket
  • A prop to use as part of attachment rituals
  • A structure to use when discussing difficult subjects (such as reasons for relinquishment)
  • A way to normalize adoption language
  • A way to discuss fantasies about birth parents
  • A method of embedding positive messages during childhood that will be remembered during adolescence strengthening postive adoptive identity
  • An opportunity to strengthen other facets of identity such as self-esteem and positive ethnic identity
  • A method of reducing society's pressure on children to have divided loyalties between birth and adoptive families
  • A space to document future events


Recommended Books & References

1 comment:

Green's said...

Love the life book idea!

Could the topics: 1) birth parent fantasies and 2) attachment rituals
each be discussed in greater detail. I am espcially interested in #1 - do adoptive parents encourage the fantasies, what are the pros and cons, how should the fantasies be treated and talked about.?

Thanks for all the great info!