“When my daughter was in her teens, we sent a letter to her birth mother via our adoption agency, but never heard back. Yesterday, I got a social media message from her birth mother’s sister, which shared sad news. How do I break this news to my daughter?”
Advice from Adoption Experts
Adoption experts answer your questions about talking about adoption, attachment, birth parent contact, and more.
A parent wonders how to explain the painful possibility that a foster child might return to her birth family to the young child she’s already parenting.
“Recently, my 12-year-old has been questioning whether an adoptive mother can really love her children as she would biological children. She’ll say things like, ‘You think you love us, but you would love a child you gave birth to more. How should I talk with her about this?”
When you struggle with infertility, baby showers can be painful reminders — and often lead to nosy questions, like, ‘So, when are you going to have a baby?’ Parents who’ve been there advise on how to respond.
“We would like to find a pediatrician during the adoption process, so we have someone to help guide our decisions. How to do this?”
“My cousin is pregnant but not ready to be a mom. She and I have discussed my adopting her baby. I realize we’ll need a lawyer, but what else will we need to do in order to adopt a family member’s child?”
“Our son’s birth mother is now married and parenting a newborn. How should I answer if he asks why they couldn’t raise him?”
An expectant mother who’s making an open adoption plan wonders how to explain to her child that his baby sibling will be adopted by another family. A birth mother offers advice.
A mother shares that her four-year-old has said, “You’re not my mom!” when angry. Fellow parents assure her this is normal and suggest different ways to respond.
“In the beginning, my son’s birth mother seemed to want a lot of contact. I send photos or updates about once a week. She hasn’t seen him in a year, however, and her family hasn’t seen him since birth. Should I back off?”
“We have always tried to make sure our internationally adopted son feels proud of his heritage. This year, when the class was writing about Thanksgiving, he asked if he could skip the assignment because people from his birth country do not celebrate Thanksgiving. I know I need to talk to him, but I’m not sure where to start.”
“We just found out that we won’t be able to adopt the child we’ve been fostering. How do we tell the child, and explain to our older daughter?”
“I recently found out that my teen is friends with his birth mother on Facebook. I feel badly that I found this out by ‘snooping,’ but I am also shocked and upset that she didn’t try to contact us or the adoption agency first. What should we do?”
An adoptive parent wonders how to respond to an only child who keeps asking for a sibling. Real parents share their advice and stories.
“We are adopting my sister-in-law’s teenage son after fostering him for five years. What can I say to her at family gatherings, to family who still don’t get that we’ll be his legal parents—and to my son, who hears all of this?”
“My husband and I are working to adopt from foster care. How do we transition a child from calling us our first names to calling us ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’?”
“I just discovered that my daughter’s birth mother died. My daughter is a preteen and rarely asks about her birth parents. Should I tell her this now, or wait? And, if so, how do I bring it up?”
“My husband was advised that some adoptive parents ‘hide’ the adoption process and feign pregnancy on social media for friends and extended family. Has anyone done this?”
A mother is nervous about the upcoming first birth family visit, wondering what it will be like, how to react if she or the birth mother get upset. Parents in open adoptions offer advice.
“My six-year-old has been asking a lot of new questions about adoption and his birth mother. He’s also told us that he loves her more than he loves us. How should we respond?”