5 Things You Should Know about Siblings of Adopted Children


Every birthmother knows, and eventually is accustomed to, having tough conversations about family. Later you may be ready to have kids of your own, but the family dynamics you have to figure out can be…difficult, to say the least.

If you’re a birthmother who has since raised children, you may be faced with some tough questions.

The kids in your household may ask, “When can I see my baby brother who was adopted?” They may want to know why you chose adoption for one of their siblings, but not them. And they may want to meet their siblings one day. When preparing for these inevitable questions, remember to have an open mind and allow your kids to ask anything they want. Below are some things to know about sibling relationships in adoptive families:

Choosing open or closed adoption makes a big difference. Open adoptions aren’t just about you. If you and the adoptive parents chose an open adoption your kids may have the opportunity to meet their adopted sibling. For many families, this is great. If you have decided to have a closed adoption, your children may be able to meet their sibling, but it will take significantly more work. It all depends on if your children want to meet each other, and how you approach the topic firsthand.


If your child was in foster care, their idea of “siblings” is different.

If you placed your baby in foster care, they may have had many different “siblings” throughout their life. Meeting their biological siblings may mean more or less to them. You should prepare your kids for this, and explain the differences in childhood that may cause tension between them.


Grief works it’s way differently in children as compared to adults. When your children first find out they have another biological sibling, they may grieve the loss of relationship or have feelings of confusion and disappointment. Keep in mind that children’s ability to process difficult emotions is different, and it may come out at different times in their adolescence. Be patient, and always be willing to talk things through with them.

Respect the adoptive parents’ wishes. Some adoptive parents may want to keep some level of separation between the families. If they would rather the siblings meet later in their adulthood, respect their wishes and think about things from their perspective. Talk to your children about this as well. They need to understand that both families are working together, and their sibling’s life may be very different from your family.

No one’s family is quite like yours – and that’s a good thing!

Embrace the uniqueness of a birthmother’s extended family. You have beautiful children, all with unique stories and a special place in your heart. They will be grateful to you as a mother. They will also be grateful for having an extended family from which to learn and love as time goes on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.