Talking About Adoption with Children


Children who joined their families through adoption need to know how adoption works, to feel free to ask questions (and get honest answers), and to learn any details you know about their birth families. Find talking tips below.

mother and child talking about adoption on a family vacation

8 Keys to Talking About Adoption

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.

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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.”

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 mom answers her kids questions about adoption

“An Adoption Game Show”

Conversations about adoption are rarely planned, so parents have to be ready with details at a moment's notice. On a recent evening with my kids, I experienced that times three.

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A woman writes an adoption memoir

Once Upon a Time: Writing Your Adoption Stories

Many parents are putting their adoption stories in writing. Whether you publish or not, here's how to create a moving, quality memoir.

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a mother on talking with her African-American daughter about racism in the U.S.

The Talk: Revealing the Realities of Racism to My African-American Child

Growing up in Trinidad, I didn’t use the word black to describe myself. But as the mother of two black children in the U.S., I walk the fine line of raising them to believe they are capable and worthy while understanding that everyone in this country has been taught to discount their value.

An adoptive mother hugs her preteen daughter after a good talk 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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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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