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There are issues that women and men who make adoption plans for their children commonly face throughout life. But because these issues are commonly experienced by birthparents does not mean that every birthparent will experience them or that they will experience them in the same way.

Deborah N. Silverstein, LCSW, and Sharon Kaplan Roszia, MS, identified and organized common experiences into seven core issues. These issues are relevant for birthparents, adoptive parents, and adoptees. Being aware of these issues can make you more prepared if they come up. They are normal experiences in the lives of people touched by adoption that can become problems if they are ignored.

These seven core issues, as explained by The Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) in the publication, “7 Core Issues in Adoption,” include:

The Seven Core Issues of Adoption

An adopted person considers the core issues about her adoption.

The core issues related to adoption may become more intense when one or more member of the adoption triad (adoptee, adoptive parent, and birthparent) reaches a milestone, such as:

  • Discovering physical differences.
  • Understanding relinquishment.
  • Learning about reproduction.
  • Entering school (people asking questions).
  • Celebrating birthdays.
  • Visiting a doctor.
  • Completing school assignments.
  • Reaching adolescence.
  • Dating.
  • Leaving home.
  • Getting married.
  • Giving birth.
  • Times of loss or change.


Lifelong Issues in Adoption by Deborah N. Silverstein and Sharon Kaplan Roszia,

"Impact of Adoption on Birthparents" (from the Child Welfare Information Gateway)

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