Skyrim: Hearthfire – How to Adopt & Raise Children


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One of the new features in the Hearthfire expansion to Skyrim is the ability to adopt a child. Taking care of kids isn’t easy or cheap, and you’ll need to make all sorts of preparations so the kid has a good home to live in before the orphanage in Riften will give up any of its kids. You won’t even need a custom plot of land to adopt. Learn how to get your hands on a kid and how to raise them right with our tips below.

Want a spouse to give your kid a stable home? Find every love interest in Skyrim with our vast Marriage Guide.

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How to Adopt & Raise Children

WARNING: If purchasing a Children’s Room for a pre-existing home, dressers may be removed which can delete any stored items.

Prepare to Adopt

  • Travel to any major city in a hold where you own a home. If you don’t have a home yet, find out where to buy the new Hearthfire plots of land with the Home-Buying Guide.
  • There, you’ll eventually meet a courier. They’ll give you two notes; one telling you how to remodel your home to build a Child’s Room, and another asking you to consider adoption. Check out more details on the Home-Building Guide.
  • Before adopting, you’ll need to remodel and create a Child’s Room. Doing so will replace your Alchemy Lab.

Adopting a Child

  • Once you have a Child’s Room, and have the note from the courier, travel to Honorhall Orphanage in Riften.
  • In the orphanage, talk to Constance Michel. Ask her about adoption. She’ll offer to send a kid to your default home.
  • At the Orphanage, you can adopt three children.
  • Francois Beaufort – Male Breton
  • Runa Fair-Shield – Female Nord
  • Samuel – Male Imperial
  • Hroar – Male Nord

Additional Adoptable Children

  • Aleson – Found in Dawnstar, near the Mines.
  • Lucia – Found in Whiterun, on the streets.
  • Sofie – Found in Windhelm, on the streets.
  • Blaise – Found at Katla’s Farm, in the stables. The farm is located in Haafingar, off the main road from Solitude.

Raising Children

  • Once a child is adopted, there are multiple ways you can interact.
  • Children can be given chores, given presents, or played with.
  • Children can be given five different types of apparel, with separate types of clothes for boys and girls: Red/Yellow/Green/Grey/Blue
  • The Child’s Doll can be used to play with your female children.
  • The Wooden Sword can be used to play with your male children. Can also be equipped as a regular sword.

If you’re looking for more downloadable expansion content, we’ve also got a full Dawnguard walkthrough. If you’re looking for all our vanilla Skyrim coverage, take a trip down to our text and video walkthrough.

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23 Comments on Skyrim: Hearthfire – How to Adopt & Raise Children

tuznidnzya

On September 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm

do i have to have a alchemy lab? cuz if i do, f*** this dlc….

Roch40

On September 6, 2012 at 3:24 am

Hroar is adoptable at orphanage as well .. male

Kevin Thielenhaus

On September 6, 2012 at 2:35 pm

@Roch40,

Thanks for the tip! Added.

Raven

On September 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Just got this. Way too much fun. Had a blast putting the house together. Giants are going to be a problem. They don’t make good neighbors. I went with North Wing Alchemy tower.. West Wing Greenhouse. And an East wing Armory. Adopted ucia from Whiterun. She is such a nice kid. Cept. i gave her a dress and a doll and after she went to bed she woke up in her Undies… weird right? My wife is the Biggest B***h. Made the mistake of marrying the one that gives you the quest for bear skins… Ugh

Stumpy24

On September 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I got Hearthfire and a courier gave me 2 notes, but neither of them was for “consider adopting a child”. Does anyone know how to get the note or adopt a child without the note?

TheVikingNinja

On September 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Found out there is a glitch- the courier never came and I could not adopt from the orphanage, but there’s a way around it. Just furnish the spare bedroom in your property (I went with Falkreath) and find the kids scattered through the world. You can have 2 since you have 2 beds. No problems at all with that one.

Anna

On October 13, 2012 at 1:29 am

dolls for females, swords for males. really? Skyrim is actually quite modern because it lets women be heroes and such. so whats with the separation of girls and boys? huh? and where are all the darkelf children and argonian children and so on. I get that they don’t come from there but shouldn’t there be some families that are not “human”.

kim

On October 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm

i have sofie and gave her both a dall and sword no problem but Aleson will not take presents. i have tried givingsweats, swords and clothes, it says he has to much to carry or something like that.

Jamison

On October 18, 2012 at 5:35 am

No you don’t HAVE to have one, you can if you want to. Heck, you don’t HAVE to get an alchemist table for any house, even without the DLC. Why freak out over an optional item?

JPrince

On November 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I have built a large house with 3 bedrooms I turned one into a children’s bedroom
and it won’t let me adopt Ive put a Childs bed and a Childs dresser in it but won’t let me
Adopt still I read if you remove the work tables from the house it works but it’s still not happening
Any suggestions would be appreciated thanks

Name*

On November 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm

you cans adopt arentino boy too, and some other children if you kills their parents like the two girls in rorikstead

zach hudson

On December 1, 2012 at 6:39 am

To get the note you have to kill Grelod the kind, then let Michel start working at the adoption center and you will get a letter within a few days.

Doom

On December 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm

what if i killed Constance Michel?

frog

On January 23, 2013 at 4:34 pm

giggity

RnRf

On January 25, 2013 at 5:18 am

how to download hearthfire?

Dragonborn

On March 8, 2013 at 8:15 am

that old lady is so so mean

swag

On June 10, 2013 at 10:36 am

I cant adopt any kid…is it because I killed the old lady?

cyrus

On June 27, 2013 at 9:47 am

I ODOPTED 78 KIDS IM OVERWELMED HELP ME I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO!!!!!!!!!

Dancer

On August 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

for stumpy:
you have to talk to aventus then kill grelod rest kill astrid(optional)
and then you will get the note

Pebna

On August 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm

With some kids, if one or both of the parents die, or u kill them, u could adoped the kids. This one guy I was about to kill in a sneak archering, than a dragon came down and did my job for me, incredible timing.

hannah

On August 14, 2013 at 6:00 pm

how r you supposed to get a childs room if you live in whiterun????????????????????????????

Keir

On August 31, 2013 at 7:08 pm

there is a way to adopt children, u have to go to riften in skyrim and kill grelod the kind at the honorall orphanage, then after head to windhelm and talk to aventus(who is a kid who summoned the dark brotherhood for a killing) just look on ur local map once ur in town. go inside, walk upstairs and walk around till u find him, after he’s done talking to u, head over to an inn and sleep, once u wake up a dark brotherhood assasin captures u and tells u that u owe them a contract since u already did theirs, hence killing grelod the kind was the dark brotherhood’s contract quest. then after this is done, u will get a note from the courier regarding “consider adopting a child”, hoped this helped

Sean

On January 2, 2014 at 8:07 pm

What happens if I completed bleak falls barrow and now the jarl bulgruff won’t go sit in his throne, what do I do?