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Potentially Adopting our Niece and I have questions

Long story short. My wife and I are fostering our 6 month old niece. The plan was for reunification with Mom but circumstances have changed dramatically over the past few days and it is looking like there is a strong possibility of adoption. I am not sure if anyone else has had this happen to them but I know as she gets older she is going to have questions that are going to be difficult to answer. How does one handle the question of who is my Mom and why don’t I live with her. Mom still has a good relationship with the family and I am sure that if the time comes we adopt her she will have contact with Mom. (Dad is not in the picture at all as an FYI).
There is another subject that as well that we could use some advice on. She is biracial. We suspect that as she gets older she will become darker. How does one field the question when/if it comes up “Why don’t I look like you?” or “Why don’t I look like my Mom?” (If she has contact with her.)
The last question that we aren’t sure how to deal with is the “Who is my dad? Why can’t I meet him?” or questions of that nature. Nobody knows much, if anything, about him.
We want to be open and honest as much as possible with her but I also know that answering these questions have to be done carefully and could vary with age. Any advice that anybody has would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


Telling the truth is the best. So and so is your birth mother but couldn’t take care of you so asked us to be your parents until you are all grown up.

Whether she looks biracial or not she has the right to her heritage. Any pictures of birth dad available? You look like your birth parents is the answer to why don’t I look like you. Your birth dad is African American so you have darker skin.

there are many many children’s books available. A place in my Heart handles an adoption story where people do not look alike as well as feelings about being adopted.

There are workbooks (look under Regina Kupecky)

You might also benefir from reading some books on adoption. There are many 20 things adopted children wish their parents knew comes to mind. Go to for many suggestions including ones on transracial adoption.

Look at your world. Is it diverse (church, school, friends, community, professionals like teachers librarians doctors etc.) Do you need to move to a more diverse area? Join a different church? does the agency you will use know of any support groups you could join? Make your home diverse with art toys (she can have dolls of all races) books.

There is gobs of information available. There is a book telling he truth to your adopted or foster child by smalley and schooler

So many good books.

She will see her birth mother and there are many good books on open adoption as well.

Happy reading, see what your community has to offer in support groups and/or educational groups and attend and learn

Posted by Regina on Jul 14, 2018 at 12:59am

You have answered your own question.  You need to be open and honest with her in an age appropriate way.  The two books I found most helpful were “Talking with Young Children About Adoption” and “Telling the Truth to your Foster or Adopted Child”.  Both are very helpful for age appropriate discussions.

Posted by jszmom on Jul 14, 2018 at 1:39am

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