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Resources to Help Birth Families Explain Adoption


  • Sam's Sister by Juliet Bond.  The story is told by 5-year-old Rosa, whose newborn brother is placed in an open adoption. An excerpt can be read online at Perspective Press to see if you want to buy it.
  • I heard of a first mother who used the Discovery Channel series Adoption Stories to explain adoption to the children she was not placing.  Since it is geared for adults, and primarily for adults that want to adopt, I was skeptical, but she thought it was very helpful.  I would recommend that the mother watch it first to make sure that it is sending the message that she wants and that it is something age appropriate.
  • The following list of books are designed to explain adoption to children.  Many of these books can also be used to explain adoption to a birth mother’s other children. 
    • Motherbridge of Love (4-10) by Xinran
      A picture
      book about the love between a child, a mother, and a birthmother. I think most 10 year olds would be a bit bored, but it is a good conversation starter even at that age.
    • In My Heart (3-8) by Molly Bang
      This picture book celebrates the bond between all types of parents and children.
    • We Belong Together: a Book about Adoption and Families by Todd Parr. Parr does it again with a wonderful book about adoption for young kids. We Belong Together explores the ways that people can choose to come together to make a family.
    • We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze (4-8). Can be used to open up a discussion of birth parents. Child in the story is adopted from China, but can be used with any adopted child. I suggest parents read through the book before reading it with their child
    • Horace by Holly Keller (ages 2-6). Another one of our favorites that covers adoption and transracial adoption
    • How I Was Adopted by Joanna Cole (ages 4-8). Explains adoption in general, but is not specific or geared towards international adoption.
    • All About Adoption by Marc Nemiroff and Jane Annuziata (ages 4-8). Explains adoption, but is not specific to international adoption.
    • Mr. Rogers-Let’s Talk About It: Adoption by Fred Rogers (ages 4-8). I love Mr. Rogers. He is a brother through adoption and his general philosophy and calming demeanor shines through in this book. It applies to all forms of adoption.
    • W.I.S.E. Up Powerbook by Marilyn Schoettle (6-teens). Great resource for helping older kids handle personal and general questions about adoption. This one is a must have for parents and kids alike. I used this as a discussion starter to be read to my kids when they were in early to mid elementary school and then left is where they could access it when they were older.
    • Rosie's Family by Lori Rosove (ages 4-8)  Addresses many questions that adopted children may have.  The story is a about a Beagle living in a family of Schnauzers. 

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