How to Talk About and Explain Adoption


Sample language, conversation guidelines, and other expert advice to help you explain adoption to your child, and answer questions from family, friends, and others.

How do adoptive parents respond when told, "Your child looks just like you!"

Parent-to-Parent: “Your Child Looks Just Like You!”

Parent-to-Parent: “Your Child Looks Just Like You!”

We asked our readers how they respond when someone comments that their child "looks just like" them. Read the answers.

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A young refugee, sponsored by a family

“You Have Thousands of Angels Around You”

How one young woman lost her family, survived a war, escaped two continents, and through the kindness of strangers found a lifelong home in Atlanta.

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hourglass and calendar to measure how long it takes to adopt, how to respond when people ask

How Do You Respond to “How Long Did It Take You to Adopt?”

We asked our readers: How do you respond when someone asks you how long it takes to adopt? Read the answers from adoptive parents.

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Teens Speak Out About Open Adoption

Teens Speak Out About Open Adoption

Three adolescents share their experiences with open adoption, and how they feel about their relationships with their birth family.

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the hands of an older parent holding a walking stick

“Mom, Were You Alive During Woodstock?”

Age limits for those adopting have been stretched or even eliminated. How might this affect the children of these "older" parents?

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“Three Real Families”

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.

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A father who adopted older children from foster care shares his story, likening parenting and filling in missing pieces to playing Jenga backward

“Parenting After Foster Adoption—Like Playing Jenga, Backward”

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.

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A child toasts marshmallows at culture camp

Should I Send My Child to Culture Camp?

"My child is approaching an age where I am thinking about sending her to culture camp. Is this something I should pursue or not?" Our panel of adult adoptees responds.

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Talking about adoption can lead to some big questions

Answering Kids’ Big Questions About Birth Parents

Between the ages of six and eight, children begin to ask more sophisticated questions about adoption. Here are some ways to respond.

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