After adoption, children and youth often have lingering questions about their past, their culture, where they come from, and what makes them unique. To better answer some of these questions, many adoptive families utilize lifebooks. Lifebooks are a tool that adoptive parents can use to help their children better understand their past and how it connects to their present situation. A lifebook can offer ways of tracking placement histories as well as be a tool for children to express their thoughts and feelings and share important details about their birth families. They can also provide a way for children to better understand their permanent role in their adoptive families. Find resources in this section that describe creating lifebooks for children who were adopted.
Putting the Pieces Together: The Significance of the Child’s Story
National Council For Adoption
Discusses the importance of learning about their biological families for children who were adopted, the significance of preserving a child’s story, and resources for adoption professionals, including the use of lifebooks as a tool to help children better understand their past and their current situation.
What Is a Lifebook?
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (2021)
Provides information about creating a lifebook for a child who has been adopted, including ways that lifebooks can serve as a therapeutic tool to help build a child’s self-esteem, help them remain connected to their birth families, and more.
10 Tips for Creating Your Adoption Baby Book
American Adoption News (2018)
Offers a guide on how to create a lifebook.
IFAPA Lifebook Pages
Iowa Foster and Adoptive Parents Association (IFAPA)Explains the purpose of creating lifebooks and provides examples of lifebook pages.
Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange (2021)Provides sample pages for creating or adding to a lifebook for a child in foster or adoptive care.