When your child’s classmates have questions, you can provide the answers.
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.
Learning to Make Mistakes
Some of our kids turn into perfectionists during grade school. Is there a link to adoption?
Supporting Your Teen’s Developing Identity
Questions from their peers get more complicated for our teens—and their peers’ questions may reflect their own worries about adoption.
“Is That Your Family?”
By now, you and your teen have established a firm family bond. But outsiders may not see it that way.
“Why Was I Adopted”
Your preschooler may hit you with surprising questions at the most unexpected times and places!
Television Shows That “Get” Adoption
Watching an engaging TV series that features a relevant storyline is a fun, low-pressure way to get your child talking about adoption. Here are five shows that mostly get it right.
Bringing Birth Siblings Into Our Children’s Stories—and Lives
The vast majority of our children have birth siblings, yet parents may wonder how to approach the topic. Adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees share how they talk about biological siblings, and build brother-sister bonds.
Ask AF: Roles and Titles in Kinship Adoption
“I adopted my grandson through a kinship adoption. He’s now six and has recently begun calling me ‘Mommy’ and saying he was in my tummy. Is this OK, or do I need to reiterate that I’m his grandmother?”
Ask AF: Child Wishes She Had an Open Adoption
“My daughter, who was adopted internationally, has been saying she wishes she got to see her birth mother, like her close friend who has a very open adoption. What can I say to her?”
Ask AF: When Children Face Adoption Questions and Stigma at School
“After my daughter told classmates that she was adopted, they responded that they ‘feel sorry’ for her. What can I do to help?”
After a late-summer day at the beach led to wistful new questions, this mom learned that talking about adoption with her child isn’t always straightforward.
“Bonding with My Teen in the Baby Department”
My daughter came to me at nine years old, so neither of us knows what she looked like as a baby, but walking these aisles is a way for us to recreate what we both lost.
Ask AF: Explaining Very Difficult Details
“How do we disclose a lifelong medical condition to our child, and talk with her about lacking any information about her birth parents?”
“Living the Dream”
As my daughter grows up, a typical, American kid, we are free to imagine only happy endings for the family she left behind.
Off to Preschool!
As kids meet new friends—and their families—they face new questions about their past.
Positive Parenting for Behavior Problems
When parents expect the worst from their children, they often get it.
[Book Review] The Red Blanket
On the crowded shelf of children’s books about adoption from China, don’t overlook The Red Blanket, a book by Eliza Thomas, with irresistible illustrations by Joe Cepeda.
Questions About Being “Given Up”
Our seven-year-old daughter knows her adoption story, but, lately, she’s been asking a lot of questions about why she was ‘given up.’
Ask AF: An Unknown Birth Father
Our daughter’s birth mother says she has no idea who the birth father is. We don’t know his first name or even the color of his hair.
Ask AF: Explaining Kinship Adoption
My younger daughter adopted her sister’s child. My granddaughter’s now eight, and knows that she was adopted, but she doesn’t know that her “Auntie” is her birth mother.