The Umbilical Family

A delightful book to start the conversation with your child about adoption, IVF donation, same sex parenting, fostering, and step parenting. The Umbilical Family is written by Cate Sawyer, and illustrated by the talented Adriana Avellis.

Front cover of The Umbilical Family by Cate Sawyer - a children's picture book for adoption, IVF donation, surrogacy, and step-parenting.
For all non-nuclear families – adoption, fostering, IVF, step.

Sometimes a mother grows an umbilical cord from her belly to the belly of a child.

For every other parent, the umbilical cord grows from heart to heart.

Follow The Umbilical Family as our cord of love grows and twists and turns, wrapping all the combinations into family. It’s cute. At times funny. It definitely opens up discussion points.

As the mother of an adopted son, and a daughter born from embryo donation, I couldn’t find a book to explore quite the level of glorious diversity of our particular family origins.

It warmed my heart to include the millions of step, foster and grand-parents lovingly raising little humans to be confident, secure adults.

I send The Umbilical Family from me to you with love.

Suitable for ages 5 – 8. Softcover.


‘The Umbilical Family is as funny for parents as it is reassuring for children, delightful’ …  

Author Kylie Kaden.

‘The illustrations brought a smile to my face and the words of love warmed my heart. I love how The Umbilical Family spoke to me as a father and a grandparent’…

Author C. T. Mitchell.

‘An educational tale that travels straight to the heart,’…

Author Dean Blake.
Buy Now (Australia) Buy Now (Overseas)

‘I bought the bundle and read them to the kids. They absolutely love them!’…

Michelle Wedlake, Family Daycare Worker.

Picture Book Bundle

Delivery in Australia Only

4 Books in the Bundle:

  • Places to Poop
  • Discombobulated
  • It’s Raining Shoes
  • The Umbilical Family


Buy Bundle

[Total: 11   Average: 4.9/5]

Read an interview with the author about – The Umbilical Family – and why she’s such a fan of children’s picture books in this Quick Six with Just Write for Kids.

Are you, or do you know, a budding novelist? See Hawkeye Publishing’s Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Writing Competition, and the Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development + Publication Award (valued at $4,500 – full suite).

If you enjoyed reading The Umbilical Family, you might also like Places to PoopIt’s Raining Shoes, and Discombobulated by the same author. (Places to Poop is our biggest selling children’s picture book – just goes to show that toilet training is meant to be fun!)

If you’re looking for a book for yourself, check out One Weekend, and Return to Tamarlin for a couple of great women’s fiction novels. 

Or if you’re more fringe, Surface Children and Serpent’s Wake: A Tale For The Bitten are both award-winning, highly recommended reads.

Carolyn Martinez

6 comments to “The Umbilical Family”

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  1. Davide A Cottone - April 16, 2019 Reply

    “The Umbilical Family” was the book that made me want to keep reading everything Cate and her illustrator were putting out for kids.

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