Growing Up Adopted - Parenting Through Developmental Ages & Stages


As children grow, their behavior and understanding of adoption changes. Below, find parenting advice for different developmental ages and stages.

Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Just Found Out That My Child Is Friends with His Birth Mother on Facebook

Ask AF: Just Found Out That My Child Is Friends with His Birth Mother on Facebook

“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?”

A teen who wants to start a birth parent search

When Teens Want to Search for Birth Parents

Part of how teens form identity is by finding ways they are alike and different from their family. They may want to search for their genetic relatives to figuring out who they are and how to emotionally put pieces in place.

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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

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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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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