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Adoption Blog: Talk to AF

Expert Q&A Webinar: Talking with Children About Adoption

transracial adoption skin and hair care expert Brooke JacksonFrom getting comfortable with adoption language even before your child can understand, to first talks with curious preschoolers, to the probing questions of middle childhood, to honest, in-depth conversations with your preteen or teenager, adoption therapist Joni Mantell, LCSW, offers an overview of children's developmental understanding of adoption and answers parents' questions about talking about adoption with their kids.

Listen now to the Adoptive FamiliesExpert Q&A Webcast: Talking with Children Adoption held on October 17, 2013. See questions submitted in advance below.

Joni S. Mantell, MSW, is the Founder and Director of the Infertility and Adoption Counseling Center (IAC Center) and a psychotherapist. She has specialized in infertility and adoption since 1993. In her extensive clinical work with all adoption triad members she is particularly known for developing a clear process for helping people "Cross the Bridge" from infertility to adoption or 3rd party reproductive options; for her capacity to integrate and to differentiate adoption, child development, and other psychological issues in her understanding of each individual and family situation.

Listen now.

See the full lineup of upcoming Adoptive Families webinars and listen to recordings of past sessions.

Related Posts on AdoptiveFamiliesCircle


We would like to know some practical things you can suggest for beginning to talk to our 2.5 year old daughter about adoption.  She was born in Taiwan and we talk about Taiwan a lot…she of course doesn’t know what Taiwan is, but she knows the word.  Are there any good preschool age books that you like to start the discussion?  Thank you.

By Taiwanmom2011 on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm.

Provplace and Magpie211, you absolutely MUST tell your children. 

Hopefully, the webinar will give you some good tips on how to go about it.

By catherinenz on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 7:50 pm.

We are almost finished adopting a young child from the Congo.  He has an older sister that was not available for adoption, because her grandmother decided to keep her.  When/how to reveal to our son that he has a sibling in Africa?

By jennyinguate on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 10:38 am.

I placed a child for adoption in my early 20s before I was married.  I am now married with 3 Bio kds and an adopted child.  How and when do I begin to share with my children that I placed a child for adoption?  I DO NOT want it to be be a huge shocking surprise if my first daughter shows up someday wanting contact (which I hope she does!) 

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question!

By jennyinguate on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 10:42 am.

Well,Jenny, I can tell you when to tell your children and that’s now - the longer you leave it, the harder it will be.  Hopefully, the webinar will give you information on how to do so.

My own birthmother died suddenly in her late 30s while I would have been in high school so her secret went with her.  So when I did make contact with extended family (her siblings), it was a surprise.  It was what I expected but even so, it doesn’t make it easier.  She was only married a short time before she passed away so am unsure if she told her husband (who has also passed away).  Perhaps if she had lived longer, she might have told them, I don’t know,  Anyway the point is that her sudden death did mean that because her secret went with her, it has made it harder although I am fortunate that my extended bfamily have been very welcoming.

By catherinenz on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 11:00 am.

I adopted my child from foster care, I brought him home from the hospital and he has only ever lived with me.  At 13 months TPR was granted and I adopted him several months after.  He saw very little of his birthparents, more of birthmom than birthdad, but not alot of either throughout the time before TPR and hasn’t seen either since.

He asks alot about his “daddy”.  It started about 6 months ago, when he noticed how many kids at his school have daddies, while he does not.  I’m answering with “I don’t know where he is, but he loves you, he knows you are with me and wants you to be with me” (which is true).  I just don’t know if that’s a good enough answer and what else I should be saying - my son is a preschooler.

Also, birthmom has requested visits.  She moved out of our area shortly after TPR so that hasn’t been a big issue but.  My son and I talk about adoption, I tell him he’s adopted, and recently have been talking more about his belly mother, who is the woman who carried him in his belly since my belly doesn’t work for carrying babies.  But - visits.  Do I do that right now or put it off, and how do I decide what’s best for him? He hasn’t seen her since he was 13 months old, so for more than two years.

By Moonie on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm.

My husband and I are wondering at what age it is appropriate to share the more difficult parts of our daughters adoption story?  Thank you in advance for any guidance.

By LuckyMama on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm.
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