Honoring Your Child's Birth Culture


Children adopted from another country or another culture within the U.S. need to understand and feel a connection to their heritage. Adoption experts and adoptive parents share advice and stories about honoring a child’s birth culture.

Children may be making assumptions about culture in your child's classroom

Responding to Assumptions About Culture

Responding to Assumptions About Culture

Children at my daughter's school assume she speaks Spanish, even though she was raised in an English-speaking family. What can we do?

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Culture and Heritage

“Embracing Our Daughter’s Culture…at Dinner”

When we adopted our daughter from China, our appetites were insatiable. It started a family tradition of celebrating culture and heritage at dinner time.

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Cover of Digging to America

Digging to America, Chapter 1: The Night the Girls Arrived

AF is pleased to excerpt the first chapter of Digging to America — our top pick for summer reading.

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An old photo of a family after their Cambodian adoption

“A Boy Like Him”

From the moment we met 27 years ago, our son knew exactly what he wanted: a family. He staked his claim on our hearts as only he could.

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One father's fears about attachment.

“Reaching Out for Her Dad”

I had expected to form an attachment slowly, but I was instantly smitten with my daughter. She was the one who came around in her own time.

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A family after adopting a baby from India

“Journey Into Our Son’s Culture”

Visiting our son in the orphanage where he lived revealed the humbling truth that he'll leave behind a lovely way of life.

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How to celebrate adoptee heritage as kids grow.

Age-by-Age Ways to Celebrate Birth Culture

An age-by-age guide to cultural activities that help our children take pride in their identity.

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A family on a homeland tour..

“A Homeland Trip with My Teens”

I planned our homeland trip, hoping to see my children's birthplaces. Surprisingly, those proved elusive, but we found meaning at every turn.

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adopted from china

“I Can’t Give My Daughter China. I Can Only Give Her Chinatown.”

Jin Yu is seven now, and lately she's been telling me she wants to go and visit her nannies, the women who cared for her at the orphanage in China. Not so much for herself, she says, but for them. Because she is sure they must miss her and wonder how she's doing. I promise we will try to go. "They are going to be so surprised!" she tells me.

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group of adopted children of various races

Building Identity: “Who Can I Be?”

From workshops and playshops to heritage travel and adoptee camps — there are tons of way to teach your kid about their culture!

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