Talking to Kids About Adoption, Foster Care & Other Hard Things

Explaining adoption, foster care, moving placements or other transitions to kids can be hard to do. Frankly, explaining these concepts to other adults is sometimes harder! Knowing when, how, or how much to tell can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, we have many sources below from adoptees, fosterees, seasoned parents and experts to help you out. Please reference our Adoptee & Foster Voices, All About Me, Celebrations, Holidays & Other Special Occasions , Grief & Loss, Foster Parenting, Life Story Work, Resource Parent Grief, Talking About Race, and Transracial Parenting & Cultural Diversity pages for more resources.

Please note many of the adoption-focused resources below can be adapted to talk about foster care!

"When it comes to talking about adoption, it shouldn’t be 'the conversation' – it should be an open and ongoing process throughout your child’s lifetime." ~Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker, adoptee & adoptive parent - author in ORPARC's library

Recommended Books & Articles

Children's and teen's books – read together or aloud – are effective conversation starters. They help kids of all ages feel safe enough to start asking questions. They also give adults concrete language and examples. Talking about adoption in particular is a conversation that goes on across a lifetime. We have many Talking About Adoption (and Foster Care)-related Materials and Transitions Materials in ORPARC's library to support you.

*Our Foster Parenting Resource page also has a section on Transitions.

Culturally specific

Other tricky topics for talking with kids about:

Videos & Podcasts