Family Helper > Robin Hilborn biography

Robin Hilborn

Robin Hilborn is author of Family Helper web site,, and editor of Family Helper magazine, an amalgamation of two magazines about adopting children: Adoption Helper (1990-2003) and Post-adoption Helper (1997-2003).

In previous lives he was (among other things) a student at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ont.); assistant editor of a children's magazine in London, England; a disk jockey in Switzerland; a federal information officer in Quebec City and Montreal; a writer for tea marketing in Tokyo; and a legal secretary in Toronto.

He now works for himself, editing Family Helper web site and magazine from his home office in Southampton, Ontario, Canada.

He writes this in "How to Judge a Web Site":
"If you ask me why I run my web site, Family Helper, the answer is: to give people information about adoption they can't find elsewhere, because no-one else, including government, has compiled the sort of in-depth information I have, and put it all in one place. I also use the site to sell editions of Adoption Helper and Family Helper, which helps pay expenses."

From 1978 to 1986, in his spare time Robin published 27 editions of a newsletter about his family history, Hilborn Family Journal.

He used to think he could call himself retired ... but being self-employed means he works even more hours than nine-to-fivers. From 1999 to 2003 he worked part time as Content Specialist for Ontario WorkInfoNet ( From 2003 to 2006 he worked under contract as Content Specialist for the Adoption Council of Canada, (ACC), writing the news items and organizing the content at the site. He continues to help ACC as a volunteer.

From 1994 to 1996 Robin volunteered on the Information Resources Committee of Toronto Free-Net.

As a volunteer he designed and laid out the Newsletter of the Adoption Council of Canada (and designed its logo). He edited numbers six through ten of the ACC newsletter (Oct. 1995 to March 1998).

In 1999 Robin moved to Southampton, Ont. In January 2005 he volunteered to work at the Bruce County Archives, at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre. He did an inventory of the shelves in the Reading Room, and scanned photos, entering photo descriptions into the photo database. In January 2008 he started indexing the binders of historical research material of John Weichel.

Starting in November 2006 he volunteered as first vice-president of the committee planning the 150th Anniversary Celebrations of Southampton in 2008. In March 2008 he suspended archives work for a year, in order to work full-time with the 150th anniversary committee. He worked on the calendar, events flyer, web pages, news releases and other written material. Through Family Helper he hosts the interior pages of the 150th web site. His columns on local history appeared in the Shoreline Beacon weekly newspaper in 2008. At year's end he donated material from the 150th Anniversary to the Archives.

In May 2009 he resumed indexing the Weichel research files, two afternoons a week. In June 2009 he began assembling his newspaper columns and other writings, and began new writing, for a book on the history of Southampton. In August the book gained a name: Southampton Vignettes. In April 2010 the book was finished, at 25 chapters and four appendices, and he began layout. The book was released in July 2010.

In 2010 he started research on a follow-up to Southampton Vignettes. Eventually titled Heart of the Great Lakes: Lake Huron and the Saugeen, the book appeared in November 2015.

In November 2015 he reworked the site's home page to give more emphasis to books published by Family Helper Publishing.

Robin has given workshops at these conferences:
   1992   NACAC Conference, Ottawa
   1994   National Adoption Conference, Calgary
   1997   NACAC Conference, Toronto
   1998   National Adoption Conference, Edmonton
   2002   National Adoption Conference, Toronto
   2003   NACAC Conference, Vancouver
   2004   National Adoption Conference, Saint John NB

Robin is a member of CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.

And he is the happy dad of David Jones of Toronto, adopted from Peru in 1989, and Cristopher Jones, adopted from Guatemala in 1996.

You can reach him at Box 1203, Southampton, Ont. N0H 2L0, or at

More history is at Background on Family Helper web site.


1995 -- Adoption Helper magazine received an Ontario Adoption Award from the Adoption Council of Ontario, "in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the adoption community of Ontario."

1997 -- Jennifer Smart, editor of Post-adoption Helper, received an Ontario Adoption Award from the Adoption Council of Ontario for her work on behalf of adoption causes.

2001 -- Robin Hilborn, editor of Adoption Helper, received an Adoption Activist Award from the North American Council on Adoptable Children for "dedicated work in making adoption information more accessible and providing materials for post-adoptive support".

Infertility Adoption Adoption Resource Central Post-adoption Family Tree
Contact: Robin Hilborn,
Box 1353, Southampton, Ont. N0H 2L0 Canada
Copyright 2016 Robin Hilborn
Updated   Nov. 23, 2015

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