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“8 Ways to Help Kids Handle Questions about Adoption” by Pact

Boy and woman reading a book in the parkDuring National Adoption Month in November, thousands of families legalized their adoptions and continued their journey together as a new, larger family. One very important part of that journey is talking with children and youth about adoption and helping them to handle questions about adoption.

Many adoption agencies and resource centers provide advice on talking about adoption. One of those organizations is Pact, an Adoption Alliance. This nonprofit promises that “the child is always our primary client.” Their newsletter article, “8 Ways to Help Kids Handle Questions about Adoption” (PDF – 64 KB), offers advice to adoptive parents. Suggestions include being proactive by initiating conversations, considering your child’s developmental stage, understanding that humor can be one of your tools, and helping your child to find peers who were also adopted.

Also find guidance from professionals on talking with children about adoption on the Child Welfare Information Gateway website and in this September 2015 newsletter article from the National Council for Adoption, Talking to Adopted Children about Birth Parents and Families of Origin: How to Answer the Hard Questions.”

Featured Child IconFeatured youth

Brittany Brittany, 16, is an outgoing young teen who likes to find fun in all that she does. Caring and helpful, Brittany enjoys cooking and helping around the house. She has a great sense of humor and is quick to smile and laugh.

Brittany does well in school, where her favorite subject is health. She is interested in learning to play the bass guitar and really likes art.

Brittany gets along with peers as long as they respect her space. She will listen to adults when they ask her to do things. Brittany says that she would like to become a part of a family that has animals. Read more

Age: 18
Location: Utah
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Age: 16
Location: Missouri
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Age: 15
Location: Mississippi
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Featured Siblings IconFeatured siblings

Edwin, Isaac, Valentina, and Valencia Edwin, 12, Isaac, 10, Valentina, 8, and Valencia, 7, need a two-parent home that has enough love for all four of them.

Edwin, the oldest, is very social and likes telling stories, going to the park, skating, and playing video games. Brother Isaac is a smart, outgoing, and social young man who likes to play with his toys and action figures.

Valentina and Valencia are loving girls. Valentina loves sports, including basketball and tetherball, and enjoys school. Valencia likes to have fun and be creative, especially while coloring and drawing pictures.

These siblings need a loving forever home that is patient and willing to work with them to support their success. Read more

Edith and Luis
Edith and Luis
Age: 9, 7
Location: Arizona
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Keiessence and Breanna
Keiessence and Breanna
Age: 11, 10
Location: North Carolina
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Jose and Flor
Jose and Flor
Age: 16, 12
Location: Georgia
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Ask a resource specialist

Woman on phone in an office sitting in front of her computerEach day, foster care and adoption resource specialists at AdoptUSKids answer questions from people across the country who want to know more about becoming a foster parent and the children who are waiting for adoption. Here is one of those conversations.

After a lot of thought and discussion, we started our adoption approval process in November. Our caseworker doesn’t think it will be done until March or April, partially because our classes don’t start until January. Children shouldn’t have to go through another Christmas without someone who is going to be in their life for forever. How can I skip the classes?

Thank you for understanding the impact on children and youth when they don’t understand who they can rely upon, especially during times that are associated with the importance of family. Many people can relate to your anxiousness to help them now.

However, the classes that you will complete are an important part of preparing you to parent children who entered foster care due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and who will need you to be an essential part of their healing process. These classes are effort and time that you will spend on being self-reflective about your parenting skills, learning new parenting techniques that are important for foster and adoptive families to know, and understanding how to talk with children and youth about their experiences, feelings, birth family, and more. Your preparation and the importance of learning won’t stop with your adoption, but it is important to start with this valuable experience.


Newspaper IconNews and announcements

AdoptUSKids in the news

Thomas McRae Jr speaking at the National Adoption Month celebration in Washington, DC This month People magazine features an interview with AdoptUSKids National Project Director Kathy Ledesma offering answers to the "big questions" about adoption. In November, leaders of AdoptUSKids and members of our speakers bureau discussed the importance of adopting older youth during a series of media interviews at the start of National Adoption Month. Watch two of these interviews, on the WJLA Washington, DC, morning show and the WBFF (FOX) Baltimore, MD, morning show.

The meaning of adoption for older youth

Mary Lee “I'm 34 years old now, but I need my family just as much as I did when I was 18, if not more….” Foster youth advocate Mary Lee writes about her experience of being adopted as a teen in this Huffington Post article.

“Being a father means learning on the job”

Steve Williams and his son FrancisSteve Williams adopted his son, Francis, ten years ago, as a single father when he was 45 years old. Steve describes their experience and shares his advice for other adoptive parents in this article on our website.

Twenty-six-year-old man adopted: “Even the judge cried.”

“Some people think that by the time you reach a certain age, it doesn’t matter anymore. But I want them to be my forever family. I want their last name. I want my children to have their last name.” Read this honest and uplifting adoption story in the Orlando Sentinel.

New Big Brothers Big Sisters program matches youth in foster care with adult mentors

A Michigan Big Brothers Big Sisters program was awarded a contract through their Department of Health and Human Services to help young people succeed after aging out of the foster care system.Read more in the Upper Peninsula’s Second Wave.

Have a question about using the AdoptUSKids website to make inquiries about children or how to read responses online? Contact us toll-free at 888-200-4005 or email We're here to help!

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