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.
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.
“Recently, my 12-year-old has been questioning whether an adoptive mother can really love her children as she would biological children. She’ll say things like, ‘You think you love us, but you would love a child you gave birth to more. How should I talk with her about this?”
Sometimes our children learn from one another. Adoption classes offer them a special environment to do just that.
“Our son’s birth mother is now married and parenting a newborn. How should I answer if he asks why they couldn’t raise him?”
An expectant mother who’s making an open adoption plan wonders how to explain to her child that his baby sibling will be adopted by another family. A birth mother offers advice.
While I acknowledge that the word carries only a hint of the day's complicated meaning, to me, "Gotcha" says it all.
A mother shares that her four-year-old has said, “You’re not my mom!” when angry. Fellow parents assure her this is normal and suggest different ways to respond.
I'm not sure why I never told my children. But when they asked, I knew it was time to end the secrecy for good.
When my granddaughter asked me if I was the “real” mother of her mom, whom I adopted as an infant, I found a way to help her explore her many real connections, through biology, law, and love.
As a father who raised a child from birth and is now parenting older children adopted from foster care, I’ve come to see that the game and pieces may, indeed, be the same, but you have to play in an entirely different way.
“We just found out that we won’t be able to adopt the child we’ve been fostering. How do we tell the child, and explain to our older daughter?”
Between the ages of six and eight, children begin to ask more sophisticated questions about adoption. Here are some ways to respond.
A seven-year-old adoptee from China shares her thoughts on an illustrated children's book about adoption.
In their "black and white" world, how do children handle the grays of adoption?
How to survive an early fascination with the birds and the bees.
Single-parent homes are more common now, but kids still grapple with the daddy question.
The family tree project can be a particularly tricky one for kids who are adopted. Here's how one family tackled the assignment.
As preteens strive to define themselves, they must work adoption into the story.
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.
Can't get your teen to talk? Rent a movie.