5 Creative Family Trees for Children Who Were Adopted

Done correctly, family tree assignments can become a beautiful opportunity to represent a child’s birth and adoptive families.

Karen White June 06, 2016

Family tree assignment can be some of the most difficult for adopted kids. If they are done correctly they can be a beautiful representation of a child’s birth and adoptive families.


Mirror Image Tree
1. Mirror Image Tree

A lot of adoptive family trees show the birth family as the "roots" and the adoptive family as the "branches." While it is an appropriate depiction in many ways, for some in very open adoptions it may feel like it "buries" the birth family’s importance. To allow for both families to be of equal importance, try mirror imaging the traditional tree. Think a tree reflected in a calm lake (or a sand timer for you more literal folks!), birth family on one side, adoptive on the other. No matter which side is up it looks the same. If you are into photography or painting you could easily create your own image and add in the names.

Entwined Family Tree
2. Entwined Family Tree

Nothing combines two families like adoption. So this Entwined Family Tree from ShabbyLadybug works amazingly well for any adoptive or combined families! You can have your own family tree custom-made and a coupon code is currently available for Adoption.com readers: The code ADOPT, will get you 10% of any purchase at least $25 in the ShabbyLadybug store until July 31.

Simple Tree
3. Simple Tree

For some super simple family trees you can download some options for nontraditional families at Family Tree Templates.

They offer options for adoptive families, surrogates, two dads, and more. You simply print it and fill in the info by hand. Not necessarily the prettiest work, but it gets the job done. Especially when your kids come home with a project due the next day (meaning they had it for a week but forgot until the evening before it was due . . . )

Make a Forest
4. Make a Forest

Too many people for a traditional family tree? Depict your family as a forest, with each person getting a different tree with their name/relationship on it. The child’s tree is the largest and the trees/names grow smaller as they fan out. Birth family could be one kind of tree and adoptive a different. Or go crazy and give everyone a different tree! The possibilities are endless. Classroom Clipart has a lot of free tree clip art you can download for your personal use---or a quick google search of scrapbook paper can give you plenty of ideas.

Name Tree
5. Name Tree

Know someone with beautiful handwriting? Simply writing family members names in the shape of a tree is a beautiful way to combine all family members regardless of whether through Birth or adoption. You can also have trees like this custom-made on Etsy.

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Karen White

Karen White is the self-proclaimed leading authority on being "that mom." You know the one. The PTO Vice President, room mom, baseball team mom, AND leader of well-behaved kids (OK, the well-behaved part may be stretching it . . . like really stretching . . .) When she isn’t threatening to tackle one of her boys on the ball field if they don’t run faster, or convincing her 4-year-old daughter that everything doesn’t HAVE to sparkle, she is also a wife and stay-at-home mom of three. One of the three happens to have been adopted, but good luck figuring out which one it is, since they all have pasty white skin, blond hair, and blue eyes.

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