families

Economics

For adopted Guatemalans, a searcher will look for birth moms. But sometimes the reunions are fraught.

Guatemala shut down international adoptions in 2008. Before that, US families adopted some 30,000 Guatemalan children. Now those kids are growing up, and some want a connection with their birth families. Enter "searchers," who will try to track down birth families for a fee. But as one adoptive mom found out, that process can be difficult — and it's as unregulated as international adoption itself once was in Guatemala.

Lifestyle

How a two-and-a-half block walk threatens to tear a family apart

Danielle and Alexander Meitive of Silver Spring, Maryland, think their kids should be allowed to play in their neighborhood without being constantly watched. But the state of Maryland disagrees, and has threatened to take their children away — a threat that may be far more damaging than just the risks of playing alone.

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Culture

Born Chinese, raised American, an adoptee explores her identity

What does it mean to be American? What does it mean to be Chinese? And how, as an adopted Chinese daughter of an American Caucasian mother, do you find a balance that works for you? And how did China's one-child policy make that a question faced by tens of thousands of Chinese-born American girls and young women? In search of perspective, Maya Ludtke, 19, traveled back to the town where she was born, meeting girls growing up as she might have, if her parents had kept her.