Talking to Kids About Adoption & Family Issues

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Professional counselors and parents offer suggestions and recommendations for talking to children (and others) about adoption, sex, and infertility. When to tell a child, how to tell a child, and advice on handling awkward or uninformed questions from we

Adopt-A Programs

Adopt-A programs and promotions can send the wrong messages to our kids, and they're all over the Web, in schools, and in our communities.... [more]

Books for Talking to Kids About Adoption

Many of our children have difficult histories; some are full of questions; some want to ask but can't verbalize the questions; some are afraid to ask, and in some instances parents aren't certain how to start talking about adoption. These books can help. ... [more]

Chat Transcript: Talking to Your Child About Adoption

Adoption educator Ronny Diamond, MSW, answered questions from adoptive parents about how and when to talk to their children about adoption. From kids too young to understand to the "you're not my parent" comment, we covered it all!... [more]

Forever Families

Therapist, author, and adoptee Marlou Russell, Ph.D., explains why telling an adoptee that s/he is now in a 'forever family' can sound more reassuring to the adoptive parent than to the adoptee, and offers alternatives to words that may make promises that can't be kept.... [more]

Happy Adoption Books - Adoptive Parenting

Presenting only the happy side of adoption, even to preschool adoptees, may be denying the child's reality. Therapist Marlou Russell, Ph.D., explores one situation.... [more]

How to Talk to Kids About Adoption

Lots of adults talk to children about adoption: parents, teachers, doctors, friends, and family members. Children take their cues from adults so it's important to be aware of how we respond to questions and start discussions.... [more]

Answering Those Awkward Questions
Suggestions on handling questions and comments from uninformed strangers, relatives and even close friends, who mean well, but...

"How I Explained Adoption to the First Grade"
In this article from Adoptive Families Magazine, adoptive parent Amy Klatzkin offers her account of talking about adoption to her daughter's first grade class. Tips and reading resources are also provided by members of the magazine staff.

Professionals Talk About Adoption
Straight talk from medical professionals about telling an adopted child about adoption and birth family, from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Talking About Difficult History
Holly van Gulden believes children deserve their histories even when it includes difficult events and concepts like older siblings, rape, and prison. From Pact: An Adoption Allliance.

Talking About Infertility
Suggestions on how and when to talk to children about this sensitive topic, by adoption and infertility author Pat Johnston.

Talking About Sex and Adoption
Understanding our own attitudes is the key to good communication with our children, by Anne C. Bernstein.

Telling Your Child He/She Was Adopted
Suggestions on explaining adoption to your child, from the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse.

Why Children Don't Talk (Much) About Adoption
Just because young adoptees don't talk about adoption doesn't mean they don't have questions that need answers. Author Virginia Keeler-Wolf explores how parents can tune in to their kids' needs.
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