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.

A girl at college who overcame her fear of leaving home

Does Your Teen Fear Going to College?

Does Your Teen Fear Going to College?

Help your teen adoptee overcome fear of leaving home with this advice.

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A teen boy sits and thinks about his birth father

“What Do I Tell My Teen About His Birth Father?”

Your teen will want to know more about his birth father—and his birth parents' relationship.

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Looking for Adoption History Using the Internet

Searching for Answers…with Google?

The Internet requires a cautious approach when teens are looking for answers about adoption.

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School Projects: Empowering Adoptees to Self Advocate

Stepping Back at School

As your child progresses through elementary school, she should take more responsibility for handling tricky assignments. Here's how to hand off the reins.

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How children view adoption changes as they grow

Adoption Through a Child’s Eyes

By tuning in to what children understand about adoption at different ages, our talks become richer, more intimate, and ultimately more effective.

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family watches an adoption movie they'll use to start adoption conversations at home

Adoption at the Movies

Films with adoption or foster care storylines, or with themes of separation, identity, or belonging, can spark tough, must-have conversations with your children. Ready to start watching—and talking? Start with one of these recommendations.

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adoptive father Billy Cuchens, who tries to strike the right balance in talking about adoption with his children

“A Balanced View of Adoption”

With such a spectrum of opinions about adoption, it’s hard to know if we talk about it too much, or not enough, and in the right way. But watching my son navigate adoption comments at school reassured me of his comfort with it.

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An adoptive mother and her teen daughter share a moment of empathy and connection

Navigating the Teen Years, Part 1: Setting “Adoption-Sensitive” Limits

As a teen, your child still needs and wants you to be a strong parent—not in a controlling fashion, but as a reliable authority in his or her life. Read on for 10 ways to establish yourself in this role.

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Teenage adoption stories: Helping adoptees who feel different

Dealing with the Unwanted Spotlight

When children enter a family as older children or teens, or even when older children who are adopted move from one school setting to another, some of the ordinary issues of school life can become complicated for them.

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A teen navigates the social stigmas of adoption

Confronting Stereotypes and Prejudice About Adoption

"Adopted Teen Arrested," the newspaper headline reads (never "Birth Teen Arrested"). Is this just another example of sensationalism by the media or do adopted teens get into more trouble than their non-adopted peers?

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