How Do I Explain My Baby’s Adoption To My Other Children?

by | May 22, 2018 | Birth Parent Blog

explain-adoption-to-kids“I’m 23 and seven months pregnant with my third child. Making ends meet is so hard with two kids, and I feel like it will be next to impossible with three! So I’m probably going to do adoption…

I’m worried about how I will tell my other children that I’m adopting out this baby. How can I tell my kids about my decision?”

It’s common for women thinking about adoption to have other children they are raising. You’re not alone if you are struggling to explain your adoption plan to your other children.

Tools for Sharing About Adoption

We suggest that you start by teaching your children more about adoption. You can do this by telling bedtime stories involving adoption, or reading them age-appropriate books about adoption. Make the subject of adoption a normal part of your conversation and everyday life. Books, stories, and movies are a good way to help introduce adoption to your children.

Another helpful tool to help you explain the adoption is to have your children draw pictures or write letters to their new baby brother or sister. Doing this can make your children feel like their sibling is still a part of their lives, even though he’s not going to be living with them. Drawing and writing lets children share feelings since they might not know how to tell you verbally.

Customizing Your Words Based on Their Age

Adoption is a positive choice for you, and you can help your children understand that. It’s important to be honest with your children about the adoption. But, if they’re very young, lots of information might be too much to take in. So right now, don’t worry about explaining all the details about adoption. You could tell them that you had to make a hard choice and that the new baby can’t live with you. Simply tell them that the baby will live with another family who can’t have a baby on their own. 

Planning a Modern Adoption

If you’re planning an open adoption, explain how that will look for your family.  Adoption is not good-bye forever, and while it may not be the same as having a sibling who lives in your home, they can get updates and perhaps even see each other once or twice a year if you have chosen visits as part of your open adoption plan.

Reassuring Them 

Adoption can be difficult for young minds to understand. Assure your children that you love them and that you also love the new baby very much. Tell them they’re safe in their home and that you’ll keep taking care of them while someone else takes care of their baby brother or sister. Let your children know that the baby will always be a part of their lives but will live with another family now. 


If you need ideas for how to bring up the topic of adoption, talk with an Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime for help with developing a plan.

Just call Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.

Heather Featherston

Written by Heather Featherston

As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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