“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?”
Advice from Adoption Experts
Adoption experts answer your questions about talking about adoption, attachment, birth parent contact, and more.
“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?”
The mother of a preschooler shares her concern about negative comments her daughter has been making about her skin color. Parents who have been there offer advice.
“After years of seeming OK about being adopted, my teenage daughter has become sad and angry about it recently. How can I help her deal with her new emotions?”
“I need help dealing with unsupportive relatives who seem to think ‘adoption’ is a dirty word. How can I talk with them about adoption?”
A hopeful adoptive mother who’s just started the adoption wait is ready to nest and get the baby’s room ready—but her husband wants to wait. Parents who have been there offer advice.
An older mom who’s enjoyed the relative freedom of parenting teens is nervous about readjusting to more hands-on parenting when she adopts a young child. Parents who have been there offer advice.
“We adopted our 10-year-old daughter as an infant, and adopted her seven- and eight-year-old biological sisters last month. How can we help all three girls bond with each other?”
A mother of three seeks advice on adopting her child’s birth siblings. She worries that her child will feel hurt if they don’t, but also that they won’t have the energy or resources to parent more children.
“I adopted my grandson through a kinship adoption. He’s now six and has recently begun calling me ‘Mommy’ and saying he was in my tummy. Is this OK, or do I need to reiterate that I’m his grandmother?”
A prospective adoptive parent shares her feelings of sadness as the holidays approach while waiting to adopt. Parents who have been there offer advice.
“My daughter, who was adopted internationally, has been saying she wishes she got to see her birth mother, like her close friend who has a very open adoption. What can I say to her?”
A single mother who’s adopting a boy from foster care seeks advice on a challenging older child adoption adjustment. Parents who have adopted older children respond.
“After my daughter told classmates that she was adopted, they responded that they ‘feel sorry’ for her. What can I do to help?”
A parent solicits opinions about a day care that encourages the children to call the employees “Auntie” and the other children “brothers and sisters.”
A parent in an open adoption asks what do do (and how to explain to her son) when his birth family uses different discipline approaches for his birth sibling. Adoption expert Regina M. Kupecky, LSW, offers advice.