Explaining Adoption to Family, Friends, and Others


When your family grows through adoption, your family and friends may need a little adoption education—and some may just not “get” it. Find pointers on explaining adoption to people who touch your family’s life, responding to nosy questions, and safeguarding the private details of your child’s pre-adoption history.

Read expert advice on answering rude adoption qeustions.

Answering Relatives’ Tricky Questions About Adoption

Adoptive parents are used to fielding questions about adoption — and most of us have an arsenal of replies to give the stranger in the checkout lane, but when it’s a family member making the rude remark, snappy comebacks don’t suffice.

Teaching Racial Awareness to Children

To the White Parents of My Black Son’s Friends

But here’s the thing—as much as we can try to protect him and teach him to protect himself, there may come a time when your child will be involved. As the parents of the white friend of my black son, I need you to be talking to your child about racism.

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Who has to know my child was adopted? Her doctor, for one.

Who Needs to Know Your Child’s Adoption Story?

Should I tell my child's doctor she was adopted? What about her school?

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My Friends' Insensitive Comments About Adoption

“My So-Called Friends”

The other day, I mentioned to a coworker that my husband and I were looking into international adoption. You'd have thought I said we were thinking of becoming terrorists. "What do you mean, you're going to adopt from Russia? What about all the kids in Milwaukee who need good homes?" she demanded indignantly.

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An adoptee and her family, wondering if she should play the adoption card in a college essay

“Should I Play the ‘Adoption Card’?”

I began to have second thoughts about sharing my story in application essays — just as it’s no one else’s business, it shouldn’t factor into a college’s decision to accept me.

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Trust and Fear of the Unknown in Adoption

“What Will This Baby Be Like?”

A mother shares the "new, unexpected, and amazing" attributes of her adopted son, of which no one talked about at the start of their adoption journey.

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Helping Adopted Teenagers Stand Up for Themselves

For Adoptive Parents: Helping Adopted Teenagers Stand on Their Own

In the middle-school years, parents must step back and help their child learn to stand up for herself, in school and in the larger world.

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