Adoption Parenting Advice & First-Person Stories


Adoption experts offer parenting advice and real parents share personal stories about raising adopted children.

A mother and her transracially adopted teen son share a moment of empathy and connection

Navigating the Teen Years, Part 2: Maintaining Your Emotional Connection

Navigating the Teen Years, Part 2: Maintaining Your Emotional Connection

Teens don't tend to talk with their friends about their feelings about being adopted, being teased, or other tough topics. But if you have a healthy, trusting relationship, they'll open up to you. An adoption therapist advises on maintaining an empathic connection with your teen.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Family Interactions After Kinship Adoption

“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?”

Parenting teens: a dad sits outside with his son at a picnic table

Letting Teens Take the Reins

As teen's desire more control over their lives, they want to be the decision-makers in determining contact with birth family.

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A teen boy sits and thinks about his birth father

“What Do I Tell My Teen About His Birth Father?”

Your teen will want to know more about his birth father—and his birth parents' relationship.

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An adolescent has difficulty processing teen emotions

Talking to Teens Who Don’t Want to Talk to You

It's important to look for those natural, easy times when personal, tender issues can be touched upon.

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a girl who is being bullied at school

“My Child is Being Teased at School”

Sometimes school brings tough situations, like teasing, tricky assignments, and nosy questions. When should kids handle things on their own, and when should a parent step in?

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adoptive mom Sandy Burkett with her daughter as a toddler

“Are Adoptive Moms Allowed to Have a Bad Day?”

After finally realizing my dream of becoming a mother, I found what most new parents find—along with the bliss come days filled with crying, spit-up, and leaking diapers. But when I dared to vent, I was chided: “You wanted to adopt…you asked for this!”

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How to Defuse Teen Anger in Adoptees

Defusing Your Teen’s Explosive Moods

It can be easier for adopted teens to express anger than the emotions that are often behind it: vulnerability, weakness, or uncertainty. Help your adolescent deal with these complex feelings in more effective ways.

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Looking for Adoption History Using the Internet

Searching for Answers…with Google?

The Internet requires a cautious approach when teens are looking for answers about adoption.

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How should your child respond when asked adoption questions at school?

When Classmates Ask

How can you help your child answer adoption questions with confidence—and handle any queries that come your way?

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School Projects: Empowering Adoptees to Self Advocate

Stepping Back at School

As your child progresses through elementary school, she should take more responsibility for handling tricky assignments. Here's how to hand off the reins.

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Family Tree Project for Kids: Adapting for Adoptees

Exploring Family Roots at School

The family tree assignment is a perfect opportunity to answer your child's questions about adoption.

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A girl answers intrusive questions about adoption at school

How Preteens Can Answer Prying Questions at School

How to help your middle schooler cope with curious peers.

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An African-American girls plays with two dolls that reflect her race

Dolls and Toys for Our Families

We asked readers, “Have you found any dolls or other toys that reflect your child’s race and/or birth culture that you would specifically recommend?” Here are the top picks.

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