Adoption Parenting Advice & First-Person Stories


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

Adoptive Families' 2018 Cover Photo Contest Grand-Prize Winner Sadie Jane

2018 Cover Photo Contest Winners

2018 Cover Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Adoptive Families Cover Photo Contest! See the nine photos selected from 1,000 entries, and read stories from the proud parents.

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The Littlefield foster family – author Deirdre with her husband and two sons

“What Being a Foster Family Has Taught My Children”

Amazingly, the number one question we’re asked about being a foster family is: “Are you afraid of what they'll teach your children?” So, what have my kids learned? To start—to be open, generous, non-judgmental, thankful for their warm home….

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author Gary Matloff visiting his son, adopted as an older child, as a freshman at college

“…and Letting It Be” – My Son’s Transition to College

When I adopted my two sons eight years ago, they couldn’t separate themselves fast enough from their “old” life in Brazil. As I prepared to visit my oldest son two months into his “new” college life—a lifetime for any freshman—I wondered to what extent he might have compartmentalized his now “old” family life.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Reconciling Different Personalities in Adoption

A mother finds herself exhausted trying to keep up with the boisterous, outgoing older child she’s adopting, and also worries that the girl might start feeling “different” from the rest of the family (who are all naturally more reserved and quiet). An expert offers advice.

Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Worried My Daughter Will Think Her Birth Mom Is More “Fun”

“My nine-year-old has been asking me about her birth mother. I was able to find her on social media, but I’m worried about sharing the photos I found.”

author Gary Matloff with his sons, after adoption and now, as teens

“The Fine Line Between Letting Go and Being Let Go”

I adopted my son as he was entering his teen years, and now, too soon, I have seen him off to college. How will his still tenuous attachment play out when I’m no longer a constant, physical presence in his life?

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author Billy Cuchens with his transracially adopted teenage son

“Home Safe Every Night”

Isaac is 14 years old, but he’s six feet tall and almost two hundred pounds. He’s also black. He hasn’t been a discipline problem since the day he came home, but someone who doesn’t know him could see him as a threat. So what was I to do on a recent evening when he asked to bike home alone in the dark?

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A dad works on building reading skills with his daughter by reading a book together.

Raising a Child Who Loves Reading

Parents know that books are educational, but how do they make them fun for kids while building reading skills? Start with these three titles.

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A mom works on language skills by reading with her child.

How Parents Can Encourage Language Skills

About 10% of children have speech and language difficulties. Help your child develop these skills with these five tips.

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A dad walks in the forest with his daughter after adopting after age 50.

“Finally Father’s Day”

I became a dad at age 50, and it changed my life in ways I never could have expected. It was the greatest gift.

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A brother and sister through single parent adoption look out the window.

“Feeling Like Family”

After the divorce, my family felt incomplete. To find the missing piece, I traveled to a Russian orphanage, thousands of miles away.

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three friends sitting on grass, talking about adoption

Parents Share: What My Child’s Friends Want to Know About Adoption

Parents share the questions their children have been asked by friends and classmates over the years, from being in an orphanage to whether they know their "real" parents.

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an adoptive father looks back on his socialy awkward school days, in contrast to his sociable, outgoing son (as his school mascot)

“Life of the Party”

Adoption kismet paired my moody, socially awkward self with an upbeat, sociable son who volunteers to wear his school mascot costume, runs for student council, and is unfazed by the thought of speaking in front of his whole school. Every day I am awed (and exhausted).

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Author Louis De Lauro with his family on their adoption trip and now, with his teenage daughter

“From Then to Now”

I don’t think about adoption on a daily basis; I am just a dad, after all. But when I do, it’s these moments that rise to the surface, indicative of so much else along the way.

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Two preschool children learn about categories.

Celebrating Sameness in Your Family

Help your preschooler process the world around him by pointing out the ways you are alike.

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