With the Hearthfire DLC, you can adopt certain children in Skyrim! This page offers a guide on how to adopt children, including what you can do with your children after adopting them.
Before you can adopt children, you’ll first need to have a place for them to stay! You can have up to two children, meaning you’ll need up to two child’s beds and a chest for each bed. You must have a chest as well as a bed for your child, as it is necessary for various interactions later on. You can either have a child’s bedroom in any city home you may already own (you can change the decor with the steward of the respective city), or you can provide beds at a homestead, which is another major feature of the Hearthfire DLC. The single beds that you can craft during the furnishing of the Main Hall will suffice, or you can construct a Bedrooms west-wing option which will have more lavish bed options that may be better suited for a family home!
When you have a suitable home equipped for having children, you can then set out to find some orphans in need of a home. Honorhall Orphanage in Riften is a safe bet (but you’ll need to have completed Innocence Lost first), but there are also countless homeless children across the cities of Skyrim. Head over to our Adoptable Children page to find out where to find children in need of homes.
Adopted Children Interactions
Once you’ve adopted a child (max 2), you’ll be greeted by them the first time you arrive at your house after adopting them. They’ll thank you and offer some small trinkets that can be found in their chest. The things they offer can range anywhere from petty loot to alchemy ingredients to food items.
You can play games with your children, such as Tag and Hide & Seek. These work similarly to if you’ve ever played games with the children found in Whiterun or Solitude, for example.
As well as having fun with your children, you could also be strict with them. You can tell them to go to bed, go outside or even do their chores! They won’t reply favorably but they will listen to their parent!
Giving Gifts to your Children
You can give your children gifts! Included within the DLC is the ability to buy different clothings in different colors and styles, as well as wooden swords. They’re found in random chests across the world but can also be bought at general goods stores. Both of these things can be given to your child, and they’ll wear the clothes immediately and you’ll occasionally see them practicing their sword skills if you have any practicing dummies in your cellar. In addition, you can also give them daggers and sweet treats! Giving them a gift will bestow upon you the Gift of Charity active effect which increases your speechcraft by +10 for 3600 seconds (1 hour).
Your children may also ask to keep a pet! They will either ask to adopt your dog (if you have one), or they’ll bring home a wild animal to which you could accept or reject as a new household pet.