Adoptive Parents Become Biological Parents Through Connection?

“Adoptive parents become biological parents through connection. We change their biology.”

Karyn Purvis took a lot of heat for making this statement, or something like it, and for understandable reasons. Read in a certain light, this statement could imply that a child’s birth family and biological connections are not important and are replaceable. A lot of people expressed concern that this sort of talk would put adoptive parents into a position to say, “Your birth family doesn’t matter because I am here.”

However, Dr. Purvis did come forward to clarify what she meant by this statement, specifically that she was talking about the biology of the brain. When parents offer connection after trauma, it helps rewrite the neuropathways in the brain, creating a physiological change in the actual organ. The statement was NOT meant to imply that biological connections are not important.

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Rachel Skousen

Rachel has a long-held passion for adoption that was sealed through her work as the content manager at She currently works as a content specialist at, finding and sharing amazing adoption content from across the web. She is a mom of three and loves reading and napping in her spare time.

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