For many families, adoption becomes part of a child’s story early on. Many adoption experts and doctors recommend sharing a child’s adoption story with him or her early in life. Sharing this your child’s adoption story allows them to understand themselves. This sense of openness means you never feel that you have to keep a secret. Ultimately, it can be a great blessing.
Of course, this can present its own challenges. How do you begin talking to your child about adoption? When should you bring up the idea in the first place?
Children’s books are part of a child’s early understanding of adoption and family. Below, you will find several books that discuss adoption in ways that children can understand.
Recommended Adoption Books for Children
I’ve Loved You Since Forever – Hoda Kotb
I’ve Loved You Since Forever is based on the real-life experience Kotb had with her daughter. The picture book reveals the love a parent has for their child and how much a parent loves and wishes for a child long before they even arrive. This book is best for children age four to eight.
God Gave Us You – Lisa Tawn Bergren
This bedtime storybook talks about the love between a parent and a child, communicating a profound message about where we come from and how precious we are. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story uses bears to show the universal nature of a parent’s love. It is a good option for very young children.
The Day We Met You – Phoebe Koehler
Phoebe Koehler tells the story of two people preparing for their adopted child to come home. It is a simple story of a loving homecoming. This one is ideal for children between the ages of two and five.
The Bible is widely recommended. After all, it contains several stories of adoption. The story of Joseph adopting Jesus to love and raise as his own is perhaps the world’s most well-known story of adoption. And of course, Christians see God as their own father.
A children’s Bible can offer child-friendly ways of relaying these stories. They can also provide illustrations to make the retelling interesting and exciting for children hearing them for the very first time.
Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born – Jamie Lee Curtis
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born to tell a story of adoption. In this story, a young girl asks her parents to tell her about the night she was born and then adopted. This book is a good option for many families because it encourages them to talk about their memories and invites questions.
My New Mom & Me – Renata Galindo
This picture book tells the story of a puppy adopted by a cat. When two families join, it can be overwhelming and rewarding at the same time. This book captures many of those emotions in a gentle, soothing way for children around age three.
Some Babies Are Adopted – Cindy Walker
This children’s book, complete with illustrations, tells the story of a birth mother who chooses adoption for her baby. It tells the story of finding adoptive parents who can provide love and stability for a new baby.
The Best Family in the World – Susana López Rubio
Older children will benefit most from this story. The Best Family in the World is for kids who were adopted at an older age. In this book, a young girl dreams about who her new family might be. This book reads at the second-grade level.
We Belong Together – Todd Parr
This book, which is very accessible for young readers, depicts an adoption experience. It is child-friendly and simple in its discussion of relationships. It is about building a family and the unique circumstances involved.
The Story of My Open Adoption
This storybook tells a warm-hearted tale about a little squirrel, Sammy, who was adopted at birth. Mom and Dad Rabbit bring Sammy to meet his first family. With its cute rhymes and whimsical illustrations, this storybook is ideal for children aged three to five.
Mommy and Me Don’t Match
“Even though we look different on the outside, our hearts beat the same,” writes author K. Monsma. She tells a story about a mother and daughter, discussing the visual differences between them. It simply acknowledges differences, reminding us our hearts match. For children (young and old) who yearn to see themselves represented, books like these are so very needed.
Books Can Begin Your Journey
Reading books about adoption together is only part of telling your child the story of how you came to be a family. Every family has a unique story of coming together. These books can help you open up the conversation to discuss your own family’s story.
While these children’s books focus on adoption, it is always a good idea to use several books as your child gets older. Each adoption is different, and you may want to offer different perspectives so that your child can better understand the journey you took.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 27, 2020, and has since been updated.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”