Books to Help Talk about Birthparents with Adopted Kids

Talking with Your Kids About Birth Parents


    Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings

    Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings (6-10) – Ada has three names. Wang Bin is what the caregivers called her at her Chinese orphanage. Ada is the name her American parents gave her. And there is a third name, a name the infant Ada only heard whispered by her Chinese mother. This sweet tale of international adoption pulls no punches when Ada considers questions about adoption. Why did Ada’s birth parents leave her at the orphanage? Why do people stare at Ada when she is out with her parents? The story focuses on Ada’s life now and the love within her family, while also honoring the love of her birth mother.

    Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born

    Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis (ages 4-8) – Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born is the tale of an adoption framed as a well-loved and much-requested bedtime story. In asking her parents to tell her again about the night of her birth, a young girl relives a cherished tale she knows by heart. Focusing on the significance of family and love, this a unique and beautiful story about adoption and the importance of a loving family. Both witty and open, the story addresses the logistics of adoption and the emotions of the family involved. A classic adoption story.

    A Family for Baby Bear by Kevin Fletcher-Velasco

    A Family for Baby Bear by Kevin Fletcher-Velasco (ages 3-7) – Mama Polar Bear wants her unborn cub to have the “green trees, streams full of fish, and cozy caves” she can’t provide. She looks far and wide and at many different families before choosing Daddy and Papa Panda Bear to raise her cub. This charming picture book looks at adoption from the first parent’s perspective, and is a great addition to your adoption library if your child’s birth mother made a decision to place.

    A Place in My Heart by Mary Grossnickle

    A Place in My Heart by Mary Grossnickle (ages 2-6) – A Place in My Heart is the story of Charlie, a chipmunk adopted by a family of squirrels, who starts to wonder about his birthparents. At first he is scared that this might upset his family but feels much better when he talks to his mother. His mom supports his curiosity and helps him realize that he doesn’t have to choose one family over the other. She models for him that he is not being disloyal by loving his birth parents. The story reassures children that it is okay to ask questions about their birthparents without upsetting their adoptive parents. I love how this book covers the varied feelings of adoption from the child’s point of view.

    The Rainbow Egg by Linda Hendricks

    The Rainbow Egg by Linda Hendricks (ages 5-10) – Hope the chicken lives in the woods, but when she lays an egg and has no nest for it, she realizes she must find a nest for her egg. Her search leads her to the Rainbows who want an egg desperately, but cannot lay an egg no matter how they try. A nice look at adoption from the first parent’s perspective and a good way to start a discussion about why birth parents might choose to place a child for adoption.

    My Fairy Birthmother: A Keepsake Storybook for Birthmothers, Adopted Children & Their Families by Avrey Hunter and Mary Huron Hunter

    My Fairy Birthmother: A Keepsake Storybook for Birthmothers, Adopted Children & Their Families by Avrey Hunter and Mary Huron Hunter (ages 4-8) – Written by an adoptive mother and her daughter, My Fairy Birthmother gives children validation and a positive perspective on their families of origin, provides a language from which to talk about their beliefs and feelings, and empowers them to see their birthmothers, like the proverbial Fairy Godmother, as spiritual guides and guardians, whether or not they ever meet. The book is designed to reinforce the birthmother’s presence in an adopted child’s life and to help children and parents talk about their first families.

    We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze

    We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze (ages 4-8) – This book is a wonderful way to start the discussion about birthparents at a young age and to help adopted children feel comfortable and verbalize questions about their birthparents. Written from an adopted child’s perspective, it addresses issues that many adopted children wonder about: What do they look like? Where are they now? Do they think of me? Kitze says she wrote the book as a tool to help her adopted children connect with birthparents and families they don’t know and may never know, and to give parents an opportunity to listen to children’s thoughts and support them in their questioning.

    Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears

    Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears (ages 4-8) – When Megan was born, her birth mother Kendra planted a tree, and every year she sends a picture of the tree to Megan on her birthday. When Kendra moves, Megan is worried that her first mother will forget her without the tree, but her mother reassures her that she is loved, both by Kendra and her parents. Lears captures perfectly the child’s anxiety about being forgotten, as well as her delight when Kendra reveals that even though she does not need a reminder to keep Megan in her heart, she has dug up the tree to replant at her new home.

    A Gift for Little Tree by Colleen D.C. Marquez

    A Gift for Little Tree by Colleen D.C. Marquez (ages 5-7) – A parable about adoption, this charming story tells of an apple tree who is unable to bear fruit—no matter how hard she tries—until a wise farmer finds a way. He grafts a bud onto Little Tree’s limb, and in time she becomes the most colorful tree in the orchard. All those who have experienced the bonds of family in more ways than one will share in Little Tree’s delight when she discovers that it does not matter if her apples came from another tree; she loves them as her very own. It’s a great way to discuss adoption after infertility. The story has Christian themes, so this book won’t be for everyone.

    Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin

    Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin (ages 3-7) – This beautifully illustrated poem traces a baby’s transition from the care of her birth mother to that of her adoptive parents. This story focuses on the role of an adopted child’s birth mother, respecting her choice to give her child to a loving family. It follows a mother’s journey as she carries her child, searches for deserving parents, and ultimately creates a new family. The story offers a version of the process that is full of warmth, care, and joy, while reinforcing the message that both the birth parent and the adoptive parents love the child.

    The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart

    The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart (ages 4-8) – Adoption is about love for the child, not that the child was not wanted. This heart warming book is aimed to help children and parents understand what one birth mother was thinking when she decided to adopt. Written in her perspective, she tells her child the reasons why she chose adoption for her baby. A great conversation starter for parents looking to introduce the concept of why their child was placed for adoption.

    Some Babies Are Adopted by Cindy Walker

    Some Babies Are Adopted by Cindy Walker (ages 3-6) – “Some babies are adopted! They are special boys and girls.” Some Babies Are Adopted guides readers through the story of a birth mother who chooses adoption for her child and searches for a loving adoptive couple. The story has strong religious themes, so it won’t be for everyone, but it’s an excellent resource for parents who want to teach their child, whether adopted or not, that adoption is a choice based on love. Walker intentionally uses broad language because I want this book to be for adopted children and their friends, cousins, and siblings.

     

    Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born

    Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis (ages 4-8) – Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born is the tale of an adoption framed as a well-loved and much-requested bedtime story. In asking her parents to tell her again about the night of her birth, a young girl relives a cherished tale she knows by heart. Focusing on the significance of family and love, this a unique and beautiful story about adoption and the importance of a loving family. Both witty and open, the story addresses the logistics of adoption and the emotions of the family involved. A classic adoption story.

    A Family for Baby Bear by Kevin Fletcher-Velasco

    A Family for Baby Bear by Kevin Fletcher-Velasco (ages 3-7) – Mama Polar Bear wants her unborn cub to have the “green trees, streams full of fish, and cozy caves” she can’t provide. She looks far and wide and at many different families before choosing Daddy and Papa Panda Bear to raise her cub. This charming picture book looks at adoption from the first parent’s perspective, and is a great addition to your adoption library if your child’s birth mother made a decision to place.

    A Place in My Heart by Mary Grossnickle

    A Place in My Heart by Mary Grossnickle (ages 2-6) – A Place in My Heart is the story of Charlie, a chipmunk adopted by a family of squirrels, who starts to wonder about his birthparents. At first he is scared that this might upset his family but feels much better when he talks to his mother. His mom supports his curiosity and helps him realize that he doesn’t have to choose one family over the other. She models for him that he is not being disloyal by loving his birth parents. The story reassures children that it is okay to ask questions about their birthparents without upsetting their adoptive parents. I love how this book covers the varied feelings of adoption from the child’s point of view.

    My Fairy Birthmother: A Keepsake Storybook for Birthmothers, Adopted Children & Their Families by Avrey Hunter and Mary Huron Hunter

    My Fairy Birthmother: A Keepsake Storybook for Birthmothers, Adopted Children & Their Families by Avrey Hunter and Mary Huron Hunter (ages 4-8) – Written by an adoptive mother and her daughter, My Fairy Birthmother gives children validation and a positive perspective on their families of origin, provides a language from which to talk about their beliefs and feelings, and empowers them to see their birthmothers, like the proverbial Fairy Godmother, as spiritual guides and guardians, whether or not they ever meet. The book is designed to reinforce the birthmother’s presence in an adopted child’s life and to help children and parents talk about their first families.

    Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin

    Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin (ages 3-7) – This beautifully illustrated poem traces a baby’s transition from the care of her birth mother to that of her adoptive parents. This story focuses on the role of an adopted child’s birth mother, respecting her choice to give her child to a loving family. It follows a mother’s journey as she carries her child, searches for deserving parents, and ultimately creates a new family. The story offers a version of the process that is full of warmth, care, and joy, while reinforcing the message that both the birth parent and the adoptive parents love the child.

    The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart

    The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart (ages 4-8) – Adoption is about love for the child, not that the child was not wanted. This heart warming book is aimed to help children and parents understand what one birth mother was thinking when she decided to adopt. Written in her perspective, she tells her child the reasons why she chose adoption for her baby. A great conversation starter for parents looking to introduce the concept of why their child was placed for adoption.

    Some Babies Are Adopted by Cindy Walker

    Some Babies Are Adopted by Cindy Walker (ages 3-6) – “Some babies are adopted! They are special boys and girls.” Some Babies Are Adopted guides readers through the story of a birth mother who chooses adoption for her child and searches for a loving adoptive couple. The story has strong religious themes, so it won’t be for everyone, but it’s an excellent resource for parents who want to teach their child, whether adopted or not, that adoption is a choice based on love. Walker intentionally uses broad language because I want this book to be for adopted children and their friends, cousins, and siblings.

    Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings

    Three Names of Me by Mary Cummings (6-10) – Ada has three names. Wang Bin is what the caregivers called her at her Chinese orphanage. Ada is the name her American parents gave her. And there is a third name, a name the infant Ada only heard whispered by her Chinese mother. This sweet tale of international adoption pulls no punches when Ada considers questions about adoption. Why did Ada’s birth parents leave her at the orphanage? Why do people stare at Ada when she is out with her parents? The story focuses on Ada’s life now and the love within her family, while also honoring the love of her birth mother.

    Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born

    Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis (ages 4-8) – Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born is the tale of an adoption framed as a well-loved and much-requested bedtime story. In asking her parents to tell her again about the night of her birth, a young girl relives a cherished tale she knows by heart. Focusing on the significance of family and love, this a unique and beautiful story about adoption and the importance of a loving family. Both witty and open, the story addresses the logistics of adoption and the emotions of the family involved. A classic adoption story.

    The Rainbow Egg by Linda Hendricks

    The Rainbow Egg by Linda Hendricks (ages 5-10) – Hope the chicken lives in the woods, but when she lays an egg and has no nest for it, she realizes she must find a nest for her egg. Her search leads her to the Rainbows who want an egg desperately, but cannot lay an egg no matter how they try. A nice look at adoption from the first parent’s perspective and a good way to start a discussion about why birth parents might choose to place a child for adoption.

    My Fairy Birthmother: A Keepsake Storybook for Birthmothers, Adopted Children & Their Families by Avrey Hunter and Mary Huron Hunter

    My Fairy Birthmother: A Keepsake Storybook for Birthmothers, Adopted Children & Their Families by Avrey Hunter and Mary Huron Hunter (ages 4-8) – Written by an adoptive mother and her daughter, My Fairy Birthmother gives children validation and a positive perspective on their families of origin, provides a language from which to talk about their beliefs and feelings, and empowers them to see their birthmothers, like the proverbial Fairy Godmother, as spiritual guides and guardians, whether or not they ever meet. The book is designed to reinforce the birthmother’s presence in an adopted child’s life and to help children and parents talk about their first families.

    We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze

    We See the Moon by Carrie Kitze (ages 4-8) – This book is a wonderful way to start the discussion about birthparents at a young age and to help adopted children feel comfortable and verbalize questions about their birthparents. Written from an adopted child’s perspective, it addresses issues that many adopted children wonder about: What do they look like? Where are they now? Do they think of me? Kitze says she wrote the book as a tool to help her adopted children connect with birthparents and families they don’t know and may never know, and to give parents an opportunity to listen to children’s thoughts and support them in their questioning.

    Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears

    Megan’s Birthday Tree: A Story about Open Adoption by Laurie Lears (ages 4-8) – When Megan was born, her birth mother Kendra planted a tree, and every year she sends a picture of the tree to Megan on her birthday. When Kendra moves, Megan is worried that her first mother will forget her without the tree, but her mother reassures her that she is loved, both by Kendra and her parents. Lears captures perfectly the child’s anxiety about being forgotten, as well as her delight when Kendra reveals that even though she does not need a reminder to keep Megan in her heart, she has dug up the tree to replant at her new home.

    A Gift for Little Tree by Colleen D.C. Marquez

    A Gift for Little Tree by Colleen D.C. Marquez (ages 5-7) – A parable about adoption, this charming story tells of an apple tree who is unable to bear fruit—no matter how hard she tries—until a wise farmer finds a way. He grafts a bud onto Little Tree’s limb, and in time she becomes the most colorful tree in the orchard. All those who have experienced the bonds of family in more ways than one will share in Little Tree’s delight when she discovers that it does not matter if her apples came from another tree; she loves them as her very own. It’s a great way to discuss adoption after infertility. The story has Christian themes, so this book won’t be for everyone.

    The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart

    The Best for You by Kelsey Stewart (ages 4-8) – Adoption is about love for the child, not that the child was not wanted. This heart warming book is aimed to help children and parents understand what one birth mother was thinking when she decided to adopt. Written in her perspective, she tells her child the reasons why she chose adoption for her baby. A great conversation starter for parents looking to introduce the concept of why their child was placed for adoption.


    Talking with Adopted Kids about Birth Parents

    Talking with Adopted Kids about Birth Parents – For even more resources and book suggestions, check out this Creating a Family Radio Show on how adoptive parents talk with their children about their birth parents.

     

    Image credit: Steve Depolo

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