“Recently, my 12-year-old has been questioning whether an adoptive mother can really love her children as she would biological children. She’ll say things like, ‘You think you love us, but you would love a child you gave birth to more. How should I talk with her about this?”
“Our son’s birth mother is now married and parenting a newborn. How should I answer if he asks why they couldn’t raise him?”
An expectant mother who’s making an open adoption plan wonders how to explain to her child that his baby sibling will be adopted by another family. A birth mother offers advice.
A mother shares that her four-year-old has said, “You’re not my mom!” when angry. Fellow parents assure her this is normal and suggest different ways to respond.
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.
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.
“We just found out that we won’t be able to adopt the child we’ve been fostering. How do we tell the child, and explain to our older daughter?”
Between the ages of six and eight, children begin to ask more sophisticated questions about adoption. Here are some ways to respond.
“I recently found out that my teen is friends with his birth mother on Facebook. I feel badly that I found this out by ‘snooping,’ but I am also shocked and upset that she didn’t try to contact us or the adoption agency first. What should we do?”
As parents, how can you help make sure that your child and all the students at her school feel included and supported? Educate teachers about the five As!
An adoptive parent wonders how to respond to an only child who keeps asking for a sibling. Real parents share their advice and stories.
In their "black and white" world, how do children handle the grays of adoption?
As preteens strive to define themselves, they must work adoption into the story.
Teens don't tend to talk with their friends about their feelings about being adopted, being teased, or other tough topics. But if you have a healthy, trusting relationship, they'll open up to you. An adoption therapist advises on maintaining an empathic connection with your teen.
“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?”
By tuning in to what children understand about adoption at different ages, our talks become richer, more intimate, and ultimately more effective.
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.
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.
“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?”
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.