Ethnic toddler listening to her mothers pregnant tummy


Telling Your Younger Children You’re Pregnant and Giving up for Adoption

Many people choose adoption as their unplanned pregnancy option, and many of those people already have children. That’s what leads some people to pursue adoption, to begin with. They simply don’t want to have another child, or they don’t have the means to raise another kid right now.

But, how do you explain your adoption plan to your younger children? We’re here to answer that for you with this detailed guide. To get free adoption information now, you can contact us online whenever you need us.

Explaining Your Adoption Decision to Your Younger Children

Talking about adoption with your younger children is much different than it would be for older kids, such as middle schoolers or teenagers. When you’re pregnant and giving up for adoption, explaining it to younger children is its own experience. That’s why you need to approach it in a way they can understand.

Given the differences in cognition and comprehension between younger and older kids, a toddler will need something more simplistic than an adolescent would. Using simpler analogies to explain your adoption decision is one effective tool. Two places where these examples commonly appear are in children’s books and movies.

Fortunately, there are plenty of children’s books about adoption out there. There are also many movies that explore adoption to help your child understand it better. Below, we have provided a handful of books and movies that you could use to open up a dialogue with your younger children.

Children’s Books about Adoption

The Mulberry Bird: an Adoption Story

As someone who’s pregnant and giving up for adoption, you want to explain to your younger children that your family is already complete. You simply want to help another family feel complete, too. Because you’re unable to care for another child or if it’s not right for your situation, you want to give them another loving family.

In Anne Braff Brodzinsky’s classic picture book The Mulberry Bird: an Adoption Story, a mother bird cannot provide the kind of life she envisions for her baby bird. As a result, she makes an adoption plan to give her baby bird a chance at the best life possible. She wants them to have the opportunities that she is currently unable to provide.

The Family Book

In Todd Parr’s The Family Book, young children can learn that families come in many forms. There are large families, small families, multiracial families and families with same-sex parents. Of course, there are also birth families and adoptive families.

Through this book, you can talk to your children about how they’ll be birth siblings for the baby in your belly. This book is targeted at children who are just learning how to read, so it could be a great option if your children have just started that process.

Adoption Is Both

Elena S. Hall, who has written several other children’s books about adoption, is the author of Adoption Is Both. This can be a great way for your children to understand what it may feel like to be in the adoptee’s shoes. When you explain that you’re pregnant and giving up for adoption, you can tell your kids that adoption can be happy and sad at the same time.

Sometimes, the baby in your belly might feel sad if people make mean jokes or don’t understand what adoption is. At other times, they’ll feel happy knowing that they have two whole families that love them more than anything in the world. Adoption Is Both teaches younger children that adoption is complex, but it does so in simple terms.

Children’s Movies about Adoption

Lilo & Stitch

This is a classic Disney film that explores adoption in two key ways: Lilo’s kinship adoption and Stitch’s adoption into the rest of their family. Although this movie doesn’t explore being pregnant and giving up for adoption, it can help your children process what adoption is as a concept.

Kung Fu Panda 2

As popular as the first Kung Fu Panda is, its sequel shows some of the backstory of its main character, Po. Namely, it reveals that he was adopted by his crane family, and it explores how adoptees are loved by both their birth families and their adoptive parents. When you tell your children you’re pregnant and giving up for adoption, you can explain to them that this baby will have two families that love them and care about them.


Are you looking for more ways to explain your adoption decision to your younger children? When you fill out our online contact form, you’ll get connected with a helpful adoption professional.

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