If you work for a nontraditional family or would like to help sensitize the children you care for to different types of families we recommend reading Welcome to the Family by Mary Hoffman. But, you should discuss the book with the children’s parents before reading it to their kids.
I like the book becaue it shows both traditional and nontraditional family units and details the various ways that families are formed in a positive way. It shows the arrival of new members into a family and explores all the different ways a baby or child can become part of a family. The book includes natural birth within a nuclear family, adoption, fostering, same sex families, and many other aspects of bringing babies or children into a family. It even discusses the various ways that children can be conceived ranging from typical conception to IVF to surrogacy.
The book includes 12 double spreads each exploring one theme, and including lots of humor, jokes, and fun along the way. The book shares an important and positive message that every family is different and every family is equally valid and special, no matter how or when the children arrive.
But, many of the concepts may be too complex for some kids or topics the parents would prefer little ones not be exposed to. For example, the story explains two mommies needing to go to a sperm bank and two daddies needing a surrogate to have a baby. That’s a level of sophistication some parents may wish to hold off on sharing with their kids.
But if it’s okay with the parents, this is a great way to introduce different styles of families to kids and that all children are loved and deserve to have families.