When you formed your family through adoption, everyone seems to think it’s their right to ask you nosy questions about adoption. Readers share some of the most common—as well as some of the most outrageous.
How to Talk About and Explain Adoption
Sample language, conversation guidelines, and other expert advice to help you explain adoption to your child, and answer questions from family, friends, and others.
Ask AF: Should We Tell Our Child She Has a Birth Sibling if They Can’t Be in Touch?
“Would knowing that somewhere, out in the world, she has a biological sister—but one she can’t get in touch with or live with as a sibling—help our child, or be harmful?”
“I Can Still Be Shocked” – Encountering Ignorance About Adoption and Race
Fifteen years into parenting in a transracial family, I thought I had heard it all—with appropriate comebacks at the ready—until an interaction with a racist (former) boss left me simply dumbfounded.
We all imagine different ways our lives could have played out. For adoptees, these fantasies may seem particularly compelling: ‘What would my life have been like if I had not been adopted?’
Ask AF: How to Discourage Indiscriminate Affection
A mother who adopted from foster care seeks advice about discouraging her children from charming or hugging strangers— and how to respond to the adults who think the child is just ‘being sweet.’
8 Keys to Talking About Adoption
There is no one-size-fits-all script to walk parents through conversations with their children about they way they joined their family, but there are guidelines you can follow to ensure years of open, honest communication.
Ask AF: Seven-Year-Old Has Been Saying She Doesn’t “Belong Here”
Parents are puzzled by their seven-year-old’s new questions and feelings about adoption. Adoption expert Beth Friedberg, LCSW, offers an explanation and talking tips.
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.”
How to Raise a Bounce-Back Kid
Most kids are born to rebound whatever their start in life. Research shows that parents can help.
How Adoption Grew Secret
Our kids deserve to know who their people were.
Support Groups for Adoptive Parents and Families
Adoptees and their families need help and guidance throughout their lives. Support groups can help provide that.
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?”
From Only Child to Oldest
Preparing your child for a new sibling can be a challenge at any age, but especially when she is a sensitive teen.
Ask AF: Sharing Difficult Details with a Seven-Year-Old
A mother seeks advice on sharing difficult birth family details with her daughter, and how this might affect their open adoption relationship.
“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.
Capturing Your Child’s Journey Through Life
Four families share how they fit making scrapbooks and lifebooks into their busy lives after adopting.
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.
Ask AF: How to Tell My Son That I Can’t Adopt His Biological Sister?
An adoptive mother explores adopting her son’s biological sister, but realizes she wouldn’t be able to meet the child’s medical needs. She seeks advice on how to tell her son.
“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!
There will be hundreds of chances to tell my daughter the story of her three mothers.