Adoption Parenting Advice & First-Person Stories


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

An adoptive mother hugs her preteen daughter after a good talk about adoption

What Do Preteens Think About Adoption?

What Do Preteens Think About Adoption?

Before the moody teen years, pre-adolescence can present its own challenges for parents. How should you respond to tweens’ questions about adoption or initiate conversation with a preteen who doesn’t seem eager to talk?

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An adopted teen looks into the distance

Your Job as Consultant and Coach

By talking through possible actions and consequences, you can help your child develop decision-making and long-range thinking skills.

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A heart on graph paper

“Overcoming All Odds”

Although we knew our South American-born son would face challenges growing up in a predominantly white middle class suburb, we were totally unprepared for what was to come.

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welcoming an older child into your family and creating sense of belonging through photographs

Creating a Photographic History for an Older Child

Pictures help show our children that their lives matter, and that they are part of a family. A photographer and adoptive mom offers her advice for taking and preserving meaningful moments.

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father's hand placing missing piece in wooden heart tangram puzzle, representing healing after older child adoption

“One of the Missing Pieces”

When older children argue and act out, it’s often connected to events from their past. How could any child move through 14 foster placements unscathed? But last night, another clash, followed by a heart-to-heart, brought us one piece closer to feeling like a solid family.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: When a Child Questions Adoption vs. Biology

“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?”

An Asian child undergoes TB tests before coming to the United States

TB and Adoption: What Parents Needs to Know

Many think of tuberculosis as a thing of the past, but it's one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. Here, learn what TB tests your adoptive child might need.

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"Why did infertility still haunt me even after becoming a mother through adoption?"

“Buying the Lie About Infertility and Adoption”

Somehow, somewhere in my mind I believed that becoming a mother through adoption would erase my infertility. But one pregnancy announcement after another from family and friends soon made it clear that this was far from the truth.

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A teen adoptee graduates from high school before going to college

3 Tasks for College-Bound Adoptees

"Going to college provides the time and distance for young adult adoptees to experiment with and sort out their own interests and self-expectations."

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A woman sits in a park, breastfeeding an adopted baby

Yes, You Can Breastfeed

Now you need to decide if it's right for you and your family.

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We considered adopting a second child, but eventually decided to grow our family by adding a dog, instead

“A Different Kind of Sister”

My partner and I thought long and hard about whether we wanted to adopt a second child. We decided to adopt a puppy-sister for our daughter instead.

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Readers share the holiday gifts they exchange with their children's birth families, including homemade ornaments, photos, and other ideas.

Parent-to-Parent: Holiday Gifts for Your Child’s Birth Family

We asked our readers: If you'll be giving your child's birth parents a gift this holiday season, what is it and how will you give it to them? Read the answers from adoptive parents.

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the hands of an older parent holding a walking stick

“Mom, Were You Alive During Woodstock?”

Age limits for those adopting have been stretched or even eliminated. How might this affect the children of these "older" parents?

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Encouraging a Cohesive Racial and Cultural Identity

“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.”

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