Why Children's Books About Adoption Are So Important

November 2, 2023 | 6 min read

Growing up, one of the first and most impactful ways we are introduced to information about identity is through children’s literature. Topics like empathy, familial connection, and even silliness are explored in a variety of ways via children’s books, and there’s no better way to introduce the idea of adoption than through this medium.

Today, we’re exploring the significant role that children's literature plays in celebrating adoption. Children’s books about adoption aren't just books; they're powerful tools that help weave beautiful narratives of love, acceptance, and belonging.

Exploring the profound impact of children's literature in celebrating adoption, we want to acknowledge the significance of November 18th – National Adoption Day. This dedicated day heightens awareness about the act of adoption, honoring the important connection between adopted children and their families. In honor of this day, join us on this enlightening journey to appreciate the transformative power of children's books depicting adoption and let their stories inspire us all.

A powerful sense of pride is built when a child is reading a book and is able to say, "Hey, this character is just like me!" This becomes particularly profound when they have never come across someone similar to them or encountered a story that resonates with their own experiences in the books they have read before. That's the transformative power of these unique narratives - they validate children's experiences, making them feel seen and understood.

Adopted children and families deserve to see themselves positively represented in children's literature. Learn how adoption stories can promote self-acceptance, belonging, and bonding in @NEChildrensHome’s blog:Click To Tweet

But why are children's books about adoption so vital? They represent diverse families, provide reassurance to adopted children, and play a large role in helping shape a child's understanding of identity, belonging, and adoption.

So, let's turn the page and begin this exploration together. We believe that by the end of our journey, you'll not only appreciate the immense value of children’s books about adoption but also feel inspired to share them.

The Power of Children's Literature in Understanding Adoption

Children's books have a magical way of presenting intricate ideas in a manner that's easy for young minds to understand. Take "And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson, for example. This book tells the heartwarming story of two penguins who adopt and raise a baby penguin. It's an interesting and entertaining way to introduce the concept of adoption to children without overwhelming them.

When kids read stories about characters who are adopted or part of adoptive families, they begin to understand and empathize with their experiences. They learn that families can be formed in various ways, all equally filled with love and care.

Books like "Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born" by Jamie Lee Curtis have done a great job of demystifying adoption. This book uses simple, comforting language to explain the process, making it less intimidating for kids.

For parents, teachers, and guardians, children’s books about adoption can be incredibly useful tools when discussing adoption with children. You can start by reading the book together and then engage them in a conversation about the story. Ask them how they felt about it, and answer any questions they might have. This will make the learning process more interactive and fun.

Did you know that reading adoption stories can help validate the experiences and feelings of adopted children? @NEChildrensHome discusses the impact of adoption in children's literature, featuring examples of diverse stories and perspectives.Click To Tweet

Children's literature has a powerful impact on understanding adoption. It simplifies complex concepts, broadens understanding, and fosters empathy among young readers. Plus, it helps spread awareness and support for adoptive families, helping make our communities more inclusive and accepting.

The Importance of Positive Representation in Children's Books

Let's define 'positive representation.' It's all about showing diverse groups of people in a respectful and accurate way. And it's crucial because all kids should see themselves in the stories they read. This helps promote diversity and inclusivity in children's materials, making every child feel seen and valued.

Integrating different aspects of one's identity is invaluable for the mental and emotional well-being of children who have been adopted. It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle - every piece matters. When children see their adoption as a part of who they are instead of their entire being, they are better equipped to handle challenging and complex situations. Reading positive children's books about adoption can help children develop this understanding, making them more resilient, empathetic, and compassionate human beings.

When we show adoption in a good light, it helps both people who have been adopted and other readers. For kids who've been adopted, seeing characters like them can make them feel validated. For others, it can help them understand adoption better, reducing the stigma around it.

But it's not just about adoption. Reading stories that represent diverse families can help foster empathy, kindness, and inclusivity in all young readers. It teaches them the important lesson that families come in all shapes and sizes, but they're all bound by love.

Recommendations for Children's Books About Adoption

  1. "Some Babies Are Adopted" - This book simplifies the concept of adoption for young minds. It's a great resource for parents and educators who want to introduce adoption in an easy-to-understand way.
  2. "I've Loved You Since Forever" - This book, inspired by the author's adoption journey, tells a story of timeless love between a parent and child. It demonstrates that love, not blood, truly forms a family.
  3. "This is How We Became a Family: An Adoption Story" - This book simplifies the adoption process for children, making it a useful tool for parents trying to explain adoption to their children.
  4. "Susan and Gordon Adopt a Baby" - Using beloved Sesame Street characters, this book tells an adoption story that's both engaging and comforting for young kids.
  5. "Happy Adoption Day" - This book celebrates the special day when a child joins their adoptive family. It helps children understand that being adopted is a cause for celebration and gives a concrete example of how to recognize this day.
  6. "We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families" - With charming illustrations and simple language, this book conveys that families can form in many different ways, all equally bound by love.
  7. "Over the Moon: An Adoption Tale" - This book beautifully narrates the anticipation and joy of an adoptive family awaiting their new baby. It highlights the excitement and happiness adoption can bring.
  8. And That's Why She's My Mama” - This heartwarming book emphasizes the idea that families come in many different forms and shows the love and connection between children and their parents.
  9. A Mother for Choco” - This touching story teaches children about the power of love and the importance of having a mother figure in their lives. Choco, a little bird, goes on a journey to find his mother and discovers that mothers come in all shapes and sizes.
  10. I Wished for You: An Adoption Story For Kids” - This book highlights the emotions that come with the adoption process. The story follows a little bear named Barley who wishes for a mother to call his own. It emphasizes the idea that families are made through love and connection rather than biological relationships.

As we've discussed, children's literature plays a vital role in celebrating adoption, promoting self-acceptance, and fostering a sense of belonging. But there's so much more we can do to support adoptive families.

If you are part of a family formed through adoption, we encourage you to reach out for resources and support from NCHS. Our team is dedicated to providing compassionate and comprehensive services to families and children throughout their adoption journey.

We understand that adoption can come with unique challenges and questions, which is why we offer a range of programs and resources to help families navigate these experiences. From adoption education to post-adoption support services, we are here to help you every step of the way. Reach out today.