Adoption: Redefining Family


June 28 & 29, 2001 -- Much has been written about the emotional anguish of adoptees who wonder who their birth parents are, and of birth parents who wonder what happened to the babies they gave away in a hospital room. In this month's Changing Face of America, NPR looks at "open adoptions" -- in which the biological and adoptive parents know one another and maintain some form of contact after the birth -- and NPR's Lynn Neary tells us about international adoptions and the day she brought her own daughter home from China.

Find out more by visiting these adoption links & resources and visit the photo gallery.

Sam Sirkin, Jesse, Zoe and Erin Farrar
(L to R) Sam Sirkin, adopted son Jesse Sirkin, adopted daughter Zoe Sirkin and Erin Farrar
(Photo courtesy Sirkin-Farrar family)

Open Adoptions

In the first of Morning Edition's two-part series on how adoption is changing families, senior producer Neva Grant talks with Sam Sirkin and Erin Farrar, whom she met while living overseas. Erin Farrar says "we decided to do open adoption because of the children. We didn't want there to be any missing pieces in their lives."

David Hall, Maya Lynn Hall, Lynn Neary
(L to R) David Hall, Maya Lynn Hall and NPR's Lynn Neary arriving at Dulles airport in 1996
(Photo courtesy Lynn Neary)

Overseas Adoptions

In part two, NPR's Lynn Neary reports about her own experience adopting a Chinese baby, now 5 years old, and about some of the cultural and identity issues faced by Korean adoptees, now adults, who were among the first wave of foreign adoptees in this country.

Hear the full interview with Susan Soon-Keum Cox from this story. Cox is a vice president at Holt International Children's Services, an adoption agency which pioneered international adoptions. Susan is also an adoptee. She was among the first wave of Korean children adopted by Americans after the Korean War.