When you and your child don’t look alike, the world wants to know why. Parents who adopted transracially share how they explain strangers’ questions and comments to their children.
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.
Ask AF: Sharing Painful Birth Parent News with My Child
“I just discovered that my daughter’s birth mother died. My daughter is a preteen and rarely asks about her birth parents. Should I tell her this now, or wait? And, if so, how do I bring it up?”
Ask AF: My Husband Wants to Keep Adoption “Secret”
“My husband was advised that some adoptive parents ‘hide’ the adoption process and feign pregnancy on social media for friends and extended family. Has anyone done this?”
When Classmates Ask
How can you help your child answer adoption questions with confidence—and handle any queries that come your way?
“I’m an Adoptee and Adoptive Parent”
My daughters and I have something important in common. We share the experience of joining a family through adoption.
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.
Exploring Family Roots at School
The family tree assignment is a perfect opportunity to answer your child’s questions about adoption.
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.
How Preteens Can Answer Prying Questions at School
How to help your middle schooler cope with curious peers.
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.
“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.
Ask AF: My Child Said He Loves His Birth Mother More
“My six-year-old has been asking a lot of new questions about adoption and his birth mother. He’s also told us that he loves her more than he loves us. How should we respond?”
“Should We Tell Our Son’s Teacher That He Was Adopted?”
Families share their experiences with school and adoption issues.
Three Stories: Unexpected Birth Family Reunions
Today, as more and more adoptees reach adulthood, they are finding birth relatives-or are being found by them. Whether a child is from the U.S., Guatemala, Russia, or China, she may one day be in touch with her first family. These stories, each detailing an unexpected family reunion, may well reflect the complexity of what is ahead.
8 Ways to Help Your Kids Deal with Violence
When children are exposed to violence—in their first home, at school, or in the media—it’s our job as parents to help them process it. Here’s how.
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.
How to Start a Parent Support Group
Start small, find like-minded members, and grow with your kids.
“Why I Attend Adoption Conferences”
As I listened to the haunting soundtrack recently, I realized that The Truman Show is also about adoption. As the realization of his life dawns on Truman, he confronts his fears, leaves his home, and runs straight to the only person who has ever told him the truth.
“They Are Not Lucky; We Are All Blessed.”
As parents, we are neither selfish nor selfless, but we are surely blessed.
Ask AF: New Feelings About Adoption as a Teen
“After years of seeming OK about being adopted, my teenage daughter has become sad and angry about it recently. How can I help her deal with her new emotions?”