Opening the dialogue: Childrens books about adoption and fostering

It can be difficult to know how or when to broach the topic of adoption or fostering with your child. We want them to understand where they come from and how much we love them, and the you're the only one who knows when to tell them, how to tell them and what's best for your child. However, a method that a lot of parents like to use to open the dialogue with their child is books about diverse family construction. We've compiled some of the most highly rated books below to get their attention and to get the conversation started. 

'Picnic in the Park' by Joe Griffiths and Tony Pilgrim


This is a charming picture book for young children which shows that families come in all shapes and sizes. The guests at Jason’s birthday party features lots of non-traditional family structures. An adorable story exploring diversity in families with a blank space for children to draw their own family at the end.

'Wolfie the Bunny' by Ame Dyckman


The Bunny family has adopted a wolf son, and daughter Dot is the only one who realizes Wolfie can—and might—eat them all up! Dot tries to get through to her parents, but they are too smitten to listen. A new brother takes getting used to, and when (in a twist of fate) it's Wolfie who's threatened, can Dot save the day?

This adorable picture book is great for siblings who are struggling with a new adopted or fostered arrival.

'The Most Precious Present' in the World by Becky Edwards


Taking the form of a dialogue between a little girl called Mia and her adoptive mother, this book explores questions that might preoccupy an adopted child. Mia wants to know why she looks different to her adoptive parents and why her birth parents didn't want to keep her.

A story to help you handle the difficult questions and explain them in a child-friendly way.

'A Mother For Choco' by Keiko Kasz


Family is about love no matter how different parents and children may be, adopted or not.

Choco wishes he had a mother, but who could she be? He sets off to find her, asking all kinds of animals, but he doesn't meet anyone who looks just like him. He doesn't even think of asking Mrs. Bear if she's his mother-but then she starts to do just the things a mommy might do. And when she brings him home, he meets her other children-a piglet, a hippo, and an alligator-and learns that families can come in all shapes and sizes and still fit together.

Keiko Kasza's twist on the Are you my mother? theme has become one of the most highly recommended stories about adoption for children. Bright and colourful it’s always a hit.

'The Teazles’ Baby Bunny' by Susan Bagnall


Mr and Mrs Teazle live happily in Foxaway Hollow, but there is one thing missing from their lives - a little baby bunny of their own. They turn to Mr McBadger for help, and he tells them of a little bunny who is looking for parents just like them.

Published by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF), this simple story provides a gentle introduction to the subject of adoption.

'My New Mom and Me' by Renata Galindo

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A heartwarming and completely accessible story about adoption, diversity, and acceptance. Told from the point of view of a puppy who is adopted by a cat, this gentle and reassuring tale is perfect for very young readers and listeners.

When the puppy comes to live with his new mom, he is nervous. After all, his mom has stripes and he doesn’t. But his mom says she likes that they look different, and soon the puppy likes it, too. (And who cares what anyone else thinks!)

The puppy’s new mom does all the things other parents do. She plays with him, takes care of him, and sometimes even makes him mad! But that’s okay, because when he’s feeling sad, she knows just what to say.

This story covers older child adoption/fostering and single parent adoption too.

'Over The Moon: An Adoption Tale' by Karen Katz


"Your baby has been born! She is wonderful. Come quickly and get her."

This is a magical, reassuring story of one adoptive family's beginnings, told in words and pictures that are just right for the youngest child--an ideal story to share with families everywhere.

A long-awaited baby is born, and the adoptive parents who have been dreaming of her fly far, far away to bring her home.

A bright illustrative style, this story talks about how loved the adopted baby is and is great for younger kids.