“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?”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
Ask AF: Doesn’t Our Child Have a Right to Know About Her Birth Mother?
We have a closed adoption, per our child’s birth mother’s request. How can I ever tell my child that I know who her birth mother is, but can’t share that information?
Ask AF: When and How to Tell Our Child She Has Birth Siblings?
Our daughter knows she was adopted, but doesn’t know she has younger half-birth-siblings. I worry about telling her, but I also I don’t want her to feel like we were hiding information from her.
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.
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.
Ask AF: How to Ask My Children About Trauma in Their Past?
“I know that my children’s birth siblings were abused by their birth parents, but my children don’t talk about trauma in their earlier lives. How should I talk with them about this?”
Talking with Your Teen
Stumped by your teen’s silences and questions? Here’s how to tackle them.
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?
Ask AF: How to Explain Fostering and Concurrent Planning to Our Children?
A parent wonders how to explain the painful possibility that a foster child might return to her birth family to the young child she’s already parenting.
In Adoption, the Loving is the Same
“Adoption makes a family different.” It may also make it stronger.