Life Story

A life book is useful for adopted children at all stages of their development as it is a vital resource helping the child understand their past and prepare for their future.

They may have painful thoughts and feelings and having an accurate record or their history will help them look forward without fear. We all have a genetic road map from our birth family and having knowledge of them helps in the development of our identity.

Young people who have no information tend make it up and those who have only negative information may use this to construct their own negative identity. Children need both positive and negative information about their birth family and the reasons why they could not live with them.

Books about Life Story Work

"The New Life Work Model" aims to help children make sense of their life, preserve their memories, offer explanation, promote genetic identity and more ably face the challenges the future may bring.

Life Story work: a practical guide to helping children understand their past.
In addition to the tried and tested techniques that have made this book the bestselling guide that it is, the new edition takes into account the use of computer-aided technology in life story work. It explains how new interactive media can be particularly helpful for many children, and describes some new interactive resources that have done this successfully.

Through words, pictures, photographs, certificates and other 'little treasures', "A Life Storybook" provides a detailed account of the child's early history and a chronology of their life. This clear and concise book shows a new family-friendly way to compile "A Life Storybook" that promotes a sense of permanency for the child, and encourages attachments within the adoptive family.

Depending upon the age and understanding of the child, the topic can and should be brought up as early as possible. Naturally the child will have a number of questions regarding their birth family. Some of these questions you will be able to answer and others you may not.

It is a good idea for you to consider how you should go about telling the child about the adoption before they start asking questions themselves. There is a variety of information available to offer you advice on all these aspects of adoption.

A young person's experience

Sam's Story [PDF]  - A young adopted adult talks about his experience of growing up adopted.


Raising Adopted Children by Lois Ruskai Melina  - Part II Chapter 4 offers some guidance on talking about adoption with children

Telling the Truth to your Adopted or Fostered Child - Betsy Keefer & Jayne E. Schooler

Talking to children about being adopted [PDF] 

New Life Work Model Practice Guide -A  guide by Edith Nicholls on helping your child to make sense of their birth family history.

Talking About Adoption by Marjorie Morrison - Practical guidance on why telling your child is so important, what to tell your child and when, and the responsibilities you face if your child is of a different ethnicity, from a different country or has disabilities.