We describe 2 unique kindreds with familial occurrence of esophageal atresia (EA) with or without tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF) and reviewed the literature on familial EA +/- TEF. EA +/- TEF appears to be causally heterogeneous with evidence pointing to the existence of non-genetic developmental and multifactorial forms. The literature suggests that the parents of a single affected child should be given an empiric recurrent risk between 1/2 and 2%, rising to 20% if more than one sib is affected. The empiric risk of an affected child born to an affected parent is 3-4%. Empiric risk figures are useful in counseling families at the present time; however, the 2 kindreds presented here raise the possibility of autosomal dominant transmission in certain families. A third generation of affected offspring, or additional family reports should help to clarify this issue in the future.