Adoption Parenting Advice & First-Person Stories


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

Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: How to Help Our Teen Through Depression?

Ask AF: How to Help Our Teen Through Depression?

“Our 17-year-old is experiencing depression and has been smoking pot. She told us she sees her depression as connected to adoption, which surprised us, because we’ve always talked openly about adoption. How can we help her?”

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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A pediatrician is an important figure in your child's life

“Bonding or Discipline?”

As I sit in the pediatrician's waiting room, all of my parenting skills are called into question. Do I focus on disciplining or bonding with my daughter?

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A mom holds her baby daughter

“Before I Became a Mom”

"I have always known I was capable of giving this much love. What I didn't know is that a child could love me this much."

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A band aid on a broken heart

“Band-Aid Mom”

Can a Band-Aid do more than heal a physical wound? For my daughter, adopted from Ethiopia at age 9, a mother's therapeutic touch — to real and emotional boo-boos — began a deeper healing process.

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A grandmother and the granddaughter she adopted share a close moment

When Grandparents Adopt

Millions of children around the world are currently being raised in “grandfamilies.” In this excerpt from a new guidebook, learn how to make sense of your new role and explain this unique form of kinship adoption to your child.

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A pair of sneakers on a rainy day

“I Wish I Had Another Mother”

To my surprise, his comment about wanting another mother did not upset me. Rather, I realized that I knew exactly how he felt, and my mother, too!

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A transracially adopted boy joking with a friend in class

“But How Did He Know About My Mama?”

When my transracially adopted son was teased about adoption at school, he came home upset—and also bewildered about how his friend could have known. When I heard this (and when it came out that he wasn't wholly innocent in the exchange), was it wrong that my reaction turned from anger to laughter?

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an adoptive mother committed to saying yes and parenting her teenage son with positivity

Just Say “Yes” to Positive Parenting

If you’re parenting an oppositional child or teen, you probably say “no” a lot. You may say it so often that it’s become your default response, or you may be stuck in the perception that “no” is the healthier option. How can you bring positivity back into your parent-child relationship?

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an adoptive mother listens to and learns from her child

Lessons I’ve Learned from My Children

Over decades as a foster and adoptive parent and an adoption social worker, I have mothered and supported hundreds of children. Each one has taught me more than I passed along to them. Here is just some of that wisdom.

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