Alternative family tree for adoptive families
Adoption and Family,  family,  parenting,  Printables

Adoption and Family Tree Free Printable Activity for Kids

The Adoption Family Tree Printable is unique and intended to help kids visualize and process their place in the family and maybe even their understanding of adoption as a social phenomenon. Our kids often give new meaning to the proverb it takes a village to raise a child.

Adoption and adoptive families are different. In more ways than most people can imagine. Once I wrote about some of the challenges of being an adoptive family here on CBC web site. Adoption is Not Like It Is In The Movies.


Alternative family tree for adoptive families
Alternative family tree for adoptive families

Our kids often come with more challenges throughout life. They sometimes begin their lives with a loss that can remain with them forever, carried around as a constant grief. They often have a team of people supporting them. Think about it: birth parents, foster parents, social workers, adoptive parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles.

It can be confusing for adults even so of course it is challenging for kids too. With domestic adoptions there are often three parties at least: foster parents, birth parents and adoptive parents.

How Does This Unique Adoption Family Tree Printable Help?

The triad is common to adoption and adoptive families. Each member is important to the child. It’s helpful when they are young to give them concrete ways to help them visualize how they fit into the adoption triad, just as it is relevant to all children to figure out where they fit in their traditional family tree.

Adoption Family Tree
Adoption and Family Tree Leaves for printable assignment

I hear often from adoptive families because I volunteer as an adoptive parent support group leader in my city. I am also an adoptive parent and I have many friends who are the same. We empathize, talk and build solutions to parenting problems that are adoption related.

Curriculum Challenges

Some of these issues are related to curriculum that doesn’t make note of kids with differences, or children who joined families via foster care or adoption. One of the very first adoption issues that will raise its head is the Family Tree assignment in grade school. Now, my family tackled this one very differently when we are there, in grade 1 or 2.

I can tell you that our teacher was a partner that year and she was very sensitive to adoption. That might not always be the case. Sometimes you might need to develop your own creative strategies to questionable assignments on the curriculum that have potential to upset your child. So, I have a solution to that.


How do I help my adopted child with their family tree assignment?

For Family Day I am sharing numerous family related activities and printables. My wonderful artist built a traditional family tree and we shared that yesterday. Have fun downloading and printing that one out.

I was almost going to leave the Family Day printables package as it was when I suddenly thought why not add an alternative family tree for adoptive families like ours. There are WAY too few resources for adoptive families like ours so why not build some? With adoption the path to forever homes is different, and sometimes it is lengthy and winding, but doing an activity like this together can remind your child of how they fit in your family and why they are here and all the people who love and care for him or her.

Diverse Families Should Be Celebrated

To print this Adoption Family Tree out to do at home you can right click the tiny images above in this post and save and print them or you can download and print the PDF right here: family tree 2 PS

Do not forget the leaves for the Adoption Family Tree Printable.

tree leaves PS

Here is the traditional family tree printable if you want that one too. I always recommend using the PDF to get access to the full sized, clear, image.

More Instructions:

Have your child print the names of all his important people in the adoption triad and keep the conversation going. This is so important!


Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Corinne

    What a smart and thoughtful idea! I hadn’t considered how difficult these projects must be for adopted children. Definitely pinning this and sharing it. Thank you so much for linking it up at the This Is How We Roll Thursday link party.

  • Anon

    My Mom always taught us that the adoptive parents WERE the parents – period. Legally, emotionally, and in every other sense. And, she knew whereof she spoke. She was not only an adoptive parent, but she was an adopted child herself. I remember Mom explaining to us that when she was adopted, the state PUT her parents’ names on her birth certificate – so that in the eyes of ALL it would be just as she was born to them. In our family we only have ONE family tree.

  • Lou Lou Girls

    This looks incredible! Great post. Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for taking the time to party with us. We hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. It wouldn’t be a party without you! Lou Lou Girls