Ask AF: Sibling Prep in a Domestic Adoption

Our adoption expert discusses how to prepare your child for a second domestic adoption and the idea of a baby sibling.

Q: What should we tell our two-year-old as we begin a second domestic adoption process?

He’s very comfortable with his own adoption story, but we are worried about his getting attached to the concept of a sibling when a birth mother still could change her mind.


A: A two-year-old can’t really understand the concept of “expecting a sibling” any more than he can really understand reproduction or what it means to be adopted — but you should still discuss these matters. Start by retelling his adoption story: Say that “adoption” means he grew in another lady’s womb. When he was born, you and daddy adopted him and became his mommy and daddy forever. (Or use whatever words you’ve gotten comfortable with.)

Then, tell him that you hope to adopt another baby some day. As you begin to set up the new baby’s things, allow your son to watch and be involved in the process. After the new baby comes home, tell him you will be taking care of the new baby while his birth mom decides whether she is able to be his mommy. You might want to hold off throwing a shower or otherwise celebrating your new baby — and a little brother or sister — until after finalizing the adoption.

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