How to adopt a child in skyrim

Hearthfire allows you to adopt children from all over Skyrim. We take a look at the orphans you can find in different cities and their stories.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim features lots of little munchkin children running around its cities and villages but, until the DLC Hearthfire was released, you and your spouse couldn’t take any into your home. Hearthfire finally added adoption as a game mechanic, as long as you met the requirements, namely upgrading your home to have beds for the children to sleep in. After all, it would just be cruel to take in orphans and force them to sleep on the floor.

Anyone who was playing Skyrim before the DLC launched went straight to Honorhall Orphanage in Riften, where they’d seen the wretched orphans under the care of a wicked old woman ominously dubbed “Grelod the Kind.” However, the DLC also added a few orphans to the streets of Skyrim’s cities to discover, too! These are all the newly added children available for you to adopt.

5 Dawnstar – Alesan

via u/Blue_no_Yellow on Reddit

The city of Dawnstar is in the far north of Skyrim; it’s a dreary and hostile landscape, but citizens are drawn to live there by the money they could earn in the local mines. Alesan, an orphan boy, brings food to those miners, so you’ll often bump into him as he’s running to and from the mine.

He’ll be holding a cooking pot or such when he talks to you, and it’s hard not to be sad for this little boy. Alesan will explain that his father became very sick on the ship on their way to Dawnstar, and then died shortly after the pair arrived. So, he’s just been trying to make enough money to survive. The poor thing can be found sleeping on the floor of the local inn at night.

4 Solitude – Blaise

Solitude is the shiny capital of the Imperial army in Skyrim, but not everything is as peachy as they’d have you believe. Blaise is a young boy whose parents were soldiers, killed in action. As a result of the war, there must be many children just like him that we don’t see.

Thankfully, Blaise was lucky – Katla, who runs Katla’s Farm just outside the city gates, took him in and has fed, clothed, and sheltered him in return for his help as a stable boy. Blaise expresses her gratitude for her help, though he wishes he didn’t have to sleep with the animals – indeed, at night, Blaise can be found sleeping in the hay in the barn. It’s enough to break anyone’s heart.

3 Whiterun – Lucia

You are likely to be pretty familiar with Whiterun, since it’s the first city which the game guides you too (assuming you’re one to follow the laid-out path). It’s fairly quaint, with some local politics to murmur about and a few less-than-perfect shopkeepers.

Lucia joins the mix when you install Hearthfire, assuming you’re still revisiting Whiterun by that time. She’s a young orphan girl who sells flowers from her basket – in fact, you may meet her for the first time because she’s peddling her wares.

Lucia’s mother died and her aunt and uncle threw her out of their home, so she had to find a way to survive on her own. Eventually, the town beggar, Brenuin, found her. He recommended that she start selling flowers – a little girl selling flowers is irresistible, no?

2 Windhelm – Sofie

Windhelm is the Stormcloak capital, where Ulfric Stormcloak commands his soldiers in the war. Like Blaise, Sofie is a young girl who lost a parent in the war. She tells you that her mother died when she was only a baby, and her father died as a Stormcloak soldier.

Sofie sells flowers on the street to survive, a tactic that surely works well due to her innocence, youth, and desperation. Not to mention that Windhelm is always snowy, often cloudy, and generally dreary and depressing – everyone could use a flower to brighten up their day, anyway.

Thankfully, Sofie is adoptable and you can sweep her out of her sad life peddling flowers – assuming you can forget that they might have been the one to kill their father.

1 Riften – Honorhall Orphanage

via asdf on Youtube

There’s no orphan running around the streets of Riften – they’re all locked up in Honorhall Orphanage, where the wicked mistress works them to the bone. Once you’ve killed that old crone – either as part of the Assassin’s questline or just out of spite – a young woman takes over and announces that children are available for adoption: Runa Fair-Shield, Hroar, Samuel, and Francois Beaufort.

In a way, this takeover also makes any child in the game adoptable. This is because if a child’s parents are killed (usually by you), they are sent to the orphanage and will then be available for you to adopt. Is there a child you’ve always preferred to all the others? Perhaps Aeta, the little aspiring hunter girl in the Skaal village? Or maybe Clinton Lylvieve, the boy from Dragon Bridge with his pet goat Lucky? If you’re willing to murder their parents, these children are yours to adopt.

With the release of the Hearthfire DLC, players will be able to adopt oprhan boys and girls found in Skyrim's various cities.

There are few things that need to happen before you can adopt a child of your own.

You can't adopt a kid until you have a house, and have completed Innocence Lost. After Grelod The Kind is dead you will get a letter from Constance Michel saying that she is in charge of the Honorhall Orphanage now, as well as asking you to adopt a kid.

Any time after this point you can go to the orphanage and adopt a kid. He/she will then move into your house just like a spouse would.

To start with you can only adopt the kids who are in the orphanage, how ever after you are able to adopt kids, the game will send the children of any slain NPC's to Honorhall Orphanage where you can adopt them.

There is an exception to this rule: An alternative to this is finding a beggar child anywhere in Skyrim (usually in a town). For example, a new NPC brought in from hearthfire is Lucia who is seen begging in Whiterun. You can talk to her and adopt her then and there as long as you have a childrens bedroom in one of your houses.

How to adopt a child in skyrim

you can also replace one of your rooms in your house for a children's bedroom but be warned that if you want to change its back you must pay a little pay.

Your children can also give you things in the world but if you adopt a child who find things for example the child in windhelm finds flower and sells them so if you adopt her, she will have a bigger chance of find things. Children can also find pets and you can let him or her keep the pet or not so constantly check on your kids for things.

your kids can die from attacks – so it is recomended they do not stay in a house alone. Consider moving your adoptive children to a hold with wall like whiterun or windhelm and so on but if you have a housecarl he or she can protect your kids from enemy attacks.

How to adopt a child in skyrim

Your kids can get in an fight but mostly happen with the same gender. You can put one of them to blame, but if you have a wife living with your kids she will keep them calm.

Is there a Skyrim mod that allows you to adopt more children?

This mod allows the adoption of up to 6 children. They are fully integrated in the Hearthfire adoption system and should be able to use the default voices. Optional esp: Adopted children will get a last name: “Dovahkiir”, meaning “Dragon Child”/”Child of the Dragon”.

Do you need a mod to adopt a child in Skyrim?

If you don’t have Hearthfire, then you’d have to install mods like Adopt a child to allow adoption of children. This mod, in particular, will allow you to adopt a child from the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften.

How do I adopt a child from the orphanage in Skyrim?

After Grelod The Kind is dead you will get a letter from Constance Michel saying that she is in charge of the Honorhall Orphanage now, as well as asking you to adopt a kid. Any time after this point you can go to the orphanage and adopt a kid. He/she will then move into your house just like a spouse would.

Why wont it let me adopt a kid in Skyrim?

Make sure you have a childrens’ bedroom built to be able to adopt children. And also have a child’s bed and chests otherwise your dialogue selection will say you don’t have room for them right now. In order to adopt children you need to put in two childs beds AND the childs chests.

Can you Unadopt a child in Skyrim?

It does not seem to work every time but it’s quick and worth trying: Open the console, click on the child, and enter “addfac XX04290 1”, replacing “XX” by the load order number of your Hearthfires.

Can you adopt all kids Skyrim?

If you have Hearthfire installed, you can adopt up to two children in Skyrim. You do not have to be married to adopt. Children can only be adopted if you have a child’s bedroom in your house or extra beds and containers in your self-built houses.

Can I adopt Aventus?

You can now adopt Aventus Aretino. Speak to him in the Aretino Residence after completing the quest Innocence Lost. Just speak with Aventus inside Honorhall Orphanage instead. IMPORTANT NOTE: Once Aventus is adopted the game treats him just like any other adopted kid.

Can you adopt kids without hearthfire Skyrim?

No, you can ‘t adopt without the Hearthfire D.L.C. At most, you might be able to find a mod that changes/adds a child in the game to allow you to adopt them.

How do you adopt the little girl in whiterun?

Lucia is one of the orphans in Skyrim who can be adopted by the Dragonborn. To initiate this, she must be given a septim and asked why she is begging. She will explain that her mother died, and her aunt and uncle kicked her out when they took over her mother’s farm.

Who is best wife in Skyrim?

The most popular and best wife in Skyrim, according to the community, is undoubtedly Aela The Huntress. She’s a member of the Companions and also a Werewolf, following the teachings of Hircine. She feels great pride over her true nature and is a skilled archer.

Can you have a biological child in Skyrim?

No, it is not possible to have children in Skyrim. Aside from marrying and having your spouse cook dinner for you, there is decidedly limited spousal interaction. If you are using a PC, you can download this mod which will allow you to adopt children from Riften, if you really want a little brat.

Can you marry Lydia in Skyrim?

She can only be married once Breezehome has been purchased.

Can you adopt Sofie in Skyrim?

Her mother died when Sofie was young and her father was a Stormcloak soldier who was killed in battle. The Dragonborn has the option to adopt her through the new adoption mechanic.

How do I start innocence lost in Skyrim?

The easiest way to initiate the quest is to pick the lock of the Aretino Residence and talk to Aventus Aretino inside. While talking to Idesa Sadri inside Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm, there is the option of asking about a child performing the Black Sacrament.

Can children live at Lakeview Manor?

(Viewed from the pause menu) That is, if you see it that important for your spouse and kids to live at Lakeview Manor Make sure you completely furnish your houses. The child’s bedroom, whether it’s the bedroom wing, or the upstairs bedroom with the 2 single beds, they need to have a container.

Skyrim is a very fun game available for PC, Xbox, and PS3. Skyrim is a role-playing game whose characters evolve in a fantasy world. Like Lancelot, you must go in search of your destiny by fighting enemies and collecting artifacts. To welcome a child into Skyrim, you must first acquire the expansion (called mod) Hearthfire.

Furnish your home

Install the Hearthfire extension. To adopt a child in Skyrim, you must first install the extension Hearthfire, because it is this extension that allows you to unlock the option of adoption.

  • If you’re playing Skyrim on a PC, you don’t have to purchase the DLC (downloadable content) Hearthfire to download and install it in order to adopt a child and welcome him into your home.

Buy a house. Once Hearthfire installed, buy a house with a separate bedroom for the child you want to adopt or buy a furnished property with a safe and a bed.

  • The options offered by Jarl’s assistant may vary slightly depending on which assistant you’re talking to (there are several).

Slay Grelod the Sweet[3]

The end of innocence. Start the End of Innocence quest by talking to Idesa Sadri. You will find him in Vendeaume, in the lobby of the inn Candelâtre. You will then need to speak to the child named Aventus Aretino that you will find inside the Arentino Residence, near the Gray Quarter of Vendeaume.

  • The fastest way to talk to Aventus Aretino to start the quest is to pick the lock of the Aretino residence in order to enter it.

Meet at the Honorem orphanage. In the quest the end of innocence, Aventus Aretino asks you to kill Sweet Grelod. Go to the orphanage in Fallaise, enter the hall and kill Grelod the Sweet. You can kill her in front of the children who will squeal with joy when she dies and won’t alert the guards, but don’t stay too long or else Constance Michelle will call the Fallaise guards and you will have serious problems.

Don’t kill Constance Michelle. You can kill Sweet Grelod with pleasure, but don’t touch Constance Michelle, as she will become the new director of the orphanage much to the children’s delight (and if you kill her, your head will be a price).

Get out of the orphanage. You will soon receive a letter announcing that Constance Michelle is the new director of the orphanage.

Adopt a child

Return to the orphanage. Once Constance Michelle director of the orphanage, go back and talk to her then select the option adopt a child. Constance Michelle will then ask you a series of questions.

Answer correctly. Tell Constance Michelle that you are Dragonborn and that you have a furnished house with a separate bedroom for the child you wish to adopt. Constance will then congratulate you and she will send you to another room.

Choose one of the children. Choose a child and click on the option if you want i can adopt you. The child you have chosen will automatically be sent to your home.

Adopt a stray child. Once you’ve killed Sweet Grelod and spoken to Constance Michelle, you can choose to adopt one of the children who roam the streets. Just talk to them and select the option if you want i can adopt you.

  • Reason is located at Dawnstar
  • Blaise is in Solitude, at Katla’s farm
  • Lucia is located in Whiterun, not far from Gildergreen
  • Sofie is in the gray quarter of Vendeaume

Adopt the child of a dead NPC. If you wish, you can adopt the child of a NPC (non-player character) who has been killed. The NPC can be killed by one player or another NPC. When an NPC dies, their children will be sent to the orphanage and you can adopt them. If you kill the NPC yourself, no one should surprise you or you will not be able to adopt the children. Below is a table with the NPC that you can kill and their children.

Last name Location NPCs to be killed
Aeta Scale Village Oslaf, Finna
Braith Whiterun Amren, Sapphire
Britte Rorikstead Lemkil
Clinton Lylvieve Dragon Bridge Azzada Lylvieve, Michel Lylvieve, Julienne Lylvieve
Dorthe Riverwood Alvor, Sigrid
Eirid The Frozen Hearth Haran, Day
Erith Left Hand Mine Daighre
Frodnar Riverwood Hod, Gerdur
Gralnach Heartwood Mill Grosta
Hrefna Darkwater Crossing Tarmir, Drenim Probes
Knud Katla’s Farm Katla, Genius
Minette Vinius The Winking Skeever Sorex Vinius, Corpulus Vinius
Sissel Rorikstead Lemkil
Skuli Old Hroldan Eydie, Lcontius Salviua
Libra Solitude Greta, Addvar

Force adoption. If you are playing Skyrim on a PC, you can use the console to force adoption of a child by changing their behavior. Start by opening the console and then choose a child to see its characteristics. Then enter the following commands:

setrelationshiprank childID 4
setrelationshiprank player 4
addfac 3004290 1

Want to start a family in Skyrim? We’ll tell you how to adopt your first child in the Special Edition.

Published Nov. 1, 2016, 6:38 p.m. about The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

by Josh Hawkins

Adoption is a feature included in the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim through the Hearthfire expansion pack. In Hearthfire, which comes with every purchase of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition, players can adopt children and start a family. In this article, we will tell you how to start a family, as well as go over all of the pre-requisites you’ll need to meet before you can adopt a child.

How to Adopt a Child in Skyrim

Before you can adopt a child in the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Remastered, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. First off, you must always have a room available in one of your houses for the child to sleep and store their possessions. Second, you must complete the quest, Innocence Lost, which is part of the path you must take if you wish to learn how to join the Dark Brotherhood. Once Grelod the Kind has been disposed of, the player character will receive a letter from Constance Michel stating that she is now in charge of the Honorfall Orphanage in Riften, and asks if the player wishes to adopt a child into his or her family.

To make sure you have room for a child in your house, purchase a Children’s Bedroom and have it placed somewhere in a house of your choosing. Because children can be attacked and even killed by your enemies, we suggest having their bedrooms built in houses that are situated in cities like Whiterun or Windhelm, as they will have protection from bandit attacks. Your Housecarl will also protect them if they are ordered to stay in the dwelling. Find out which followers are the best by checking out our favored followers guide.

There are two ways that players can adopt children. The best way is to adopt them from Honorfall Orphanage in Riften. However, with the addition of the Hearthfire expansion pack, players can now find children roaming the streets of various cities. Simply ask them about their situation, and if the player meets the pre-requisites (has a bedroom), they can ask to adopt the child. The child will say yes, and move into the home that the player chooses.

That is all the basic information surrounding adopting a child and starting a family. When adopted, children can interact with the player character and receive or even offer gifts. They will also store ingredients and other helpful items in their chest, where the Dragonborn can then take and make use of however they see fit. You can learn more about the adoption requirements and how to build your own home by picking up the Official Prima Games Strategy Guide. Or, head over to our free Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim walkthrough for more tips tricks, and guides to help you along your journey.

The adoption process can be smooth sailing or brutal.

How to adopt a child in skyrim

If you’ve reached the point in your The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim playthrough where you would like to undertake more responsibilities, then adopting a child could be a suitable option. There are a few requirements to be met before you can adopt a child, and in this guide we’ve outlined how to fulfill the adoption process as well as how many kids you can adopt in Skyrim.

How many kids can you adopt in Skyrim?

The second Skyrim add-on Hearthfire will only allow you to adopt two children, regardless of which property you use.

Children available for adoption

The four children available to adopt are:


Alesan is a Redguard orphan located at the Windpeak Inn on the outskirts of Dawnstar, close to the mines. You will find him sleeping on the floor of the inn.

How to adopt a child in skyrim

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This Breton orphan lives at Katla’s Farm in Solitude, and can be found sleeping in the stables with the animals.

How to adopt a child in skyrim

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Lucia is an Imperial child who can be found sitting on one of the benches in Whiterun, located near the Gildergreen tree.

How to adopt a child in skyrim

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This Nord child can be identified in Windhelm by the flower basket she carries. She can also be found sleeping outside of Niranye’s house next to a barrel.

How to adopt a child in skyrim

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There are four additional children available for adoption by default from the Honorhall Orphanage in Riften:

Runa Fair-Shield
Francois Beaufort

You must complete the Dark Brotherhood quest ‘Innocence Lost’ before you can adopt from this orphanage.

How to adopt a child

Before the Dragonborn can adopt a child, there are a few prerequisites in place.

You must own a house with a children’s bedroom or a furnished homestead with a bed and chest.

If you have a homestead, a child’s bed can either be in the Bedrooms or you can have a single bed in the Main Hall. If you plan to have two children, you must have two chests accompanying the two beds, otherwise, adoption will not be allowed.

A grim alternative prompts other children to be sent to the orphanage once their parents die.

The Dragonborn can opt to kill the parents in order to send the child to the orphanage, but the crime must not be observed by a guard or the child.

The following table lists the available children, their location, and the parents you have to kill in order for them to be put up for adoption:

It’s not easy being Dragonborn. Add being a parent on top of the Dovahkiin’s list of responsibilities, and it’s no wonder the thought of a murderous rampage through Whiterun crosses their mind. However, the temporary buffs earned from having a family are well-worth the stress of parenthood. This guide will go over how to adopt children in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, including all prerequisites and necessary steps. We’ll also provide a list of every child you can adopt in Skyrim.

How to adopt children in Skyrim

How to adopt a child in skyrim

So you’ve done everything there is to do in Skyrim, and now it’s time to start a family. To adopt children in Skyrim, you must have the Hearthfire DLC installed. The free DLC will come with any current version of the game. Hearthfire introduced adoption and homesteads into the game. While adoption is self-explanatory, homesteads allow you to build your own home from the ground up on land outside major cities or in the middle of the wilderness.

No matter where you live in Skyrim, be it your hand-built homestead or Solitude apartment, you’ll need the proper furnishing to begin the adoption process. In your home, you’ll need to have a child’s bed and chest for each child you plan on adopting (you can only adopt a max of two children.)

Homes in the major cities will need to have a child’s bedroom already attached. If you’re operating out of a homestead, you’ll need to build one yourself. Your best bet is to build your own home and buy a bed and chest for each child you plan on adopting. Besides, building a homestead is half the fun of Hearthfire.

Where you can adopt children in Skyrim

How to adopt a child in skyrim

Now that you have the proper furnishings, it’s time to find the heir to your legacy. You can find adoptable children wandering around Dawnstar, Solitude, Whiterun, and Windhelm. All you have to do is approach the child and ask about their current living situation. If the prerequisites are met, the adoption dialogue will prompt. Adopting wandering children is the most straightforward way to start your family, but it’s not the only one.

You can also head to Honorhall Orphanage in Riften, headed by the ironically named Grelod the Kind. Grelod is anything but kind, which explains why Aventus Aretino, also known as the cursed child in Windhelm, wants her dead. Killing Grelod is the first Dark Brotherhood quest and must be completed to proceed in adoption. Once dead, Constance Michel will take over Honorhall Orphanage, and the Dragonborn can talk to her about adoption.

There are four children in Honorhall by default. However, the Orphanage itself has room for 11 total. If you kill a child’s parents while questing around Skyrim, they’ll end up in Honorhall Orphanage, where you can adopt them yourself. However, if they witnessed you kill their parents or the guards catch you, they’ll refuse to go with you for obvious reasons.

Perks of parenthood in Skyrim

How to adopt a child in skyrimVia Bethesda

While raising children isn’t as exciting as absorbing the souls of dead dragons, it still has its perks. For starters, you can gain the Gift of Charity to increase your Speech by 10 for one hour (real-time) by giving your adopted child a present. These presents include:

  • A wooden sword
  • A child’s doll
  • Children’s clothing
  • A dagger
  • A treat like fruits or sweet rolls
  • A children’s book

At this point in the game, you’ve probably got a plethora of daggers to your name, so give those kids something sharp to play with and claim your Gift of Charity. Sleeping in the same house as your child will grant you with the Father’s/Mother’s Love buff, which boosts the effect of healing potions by 25%.

Children can also give you gifts for being such a good parent! These gifts range from clothes and jewelry to bows and magical staffs. Where your children found a Staff of Flames is left to mystery.

Children can also show up with random animals like foxes, rabbits, and mudcrabs and ask you to keep them as pets. While there is no in-game benefit to having a pet, it’s better than not having a pet.

Sometimes, your kids will be scared to go into the basement, claiming there’s something down there. If you’re a good parent and arm your children with daggers, they’ll fight alongside you as you fend off the pests in the basement, which are usually just skeevers. Be careful of their pets, though. Killing their animal companion in the crossfire (or on purpose) will result in them pretty much hating you for a few in-game days.

Finally, kids are natural explorers and need to dump their findings occasionally. Search their chests for items like food and ingredients. Hopefully, we’ll see the entire family system improved upon in The Elder Scrolls: 6.

Do you have to be married to adopt children in Skyrim?

You don’t have to be married to adopt children in Skyrim. All you have to meet are the prerequisites mentioned above. However, married life does come with its perks when coupled with parenthood. Your spouse will operate their own shop where you can buy and sell your goods. You’ll also gain the Lovers Comfort buff, which boosts your experience gain by 15% for eight in-game hours.

To get married in Skyrim, head back to Riften and speak with Maramal at the Temple of Mara. For more information, check out our guide on how to get married in Skyrim.

Who can you adopt in Skyrim?

How to adopt a child in skyrim

As mentioned, there are a few different ways and places to adopt children in Skyrim. Here’s every child you can adopt and where to find them.

Children you can find in cities

  • Alesan — Dawnstar, found near the mines
  • Blaise — Solitude, found just outside the city on Katla’s Farm
  • Lucia — Whiterun, found near the Gildergreen
  • Sofie — Windhelm, in Gray Quarter (where the Dark Elves live)

Children in Honorhall Orphanage (default)

These are the four children that are at Honorhall Orphanage by default. Aventus Aretino was the fifth child, but he ran away to summon the Dark Brotherhood.

  • Runa Fair-Shield
  • Hroar
  • Samuel
  • Francois Beaufort

Children whose parents are killed

The children below will appear in Honorhall Orphanage if their parents are killed by the Dragonborn or by other NPCs. Each child’s parents are pretty self-explanatory as they’ll share the same name, home, or occupation.

Step 1: Buy a Plot of Land
You need to buy a land so that you can build a house for your kids and your pets. For instructions on how to obtain a plot of land, see the following guide:
How to buy land in Skyrim Hearthfire

Step 2: Build Your House
After you have purchased land, you need to build the house. For instructions, see:
Hearthfire House Building Guide

Step 2a (Optional): Add children’s bedroom to your current home in a city
If you don’t want to build a house right now, you can just add a child’s bedroom to an existing house you own in one of the cities, such as Breezehome in Whiterun. This is done by talking to the Jarl’s Steward, the same way you added other additions and decorations previously.

Step 3: Prepare your house for adoption
In order for the children to move in, you need to have a child’s bed and a small dresser in your house (in addition to the double bed for you and your spouse).

Step 4: Adopt a Child
You cannot have pets if you don’t have children, so now you need adopt one or two kids to live with you. For a tutorial on how to adopt children in Hearthfire see:
Skyrim Hearthfire Adoption Guide
List of Adoptable Kids in Skyrim Hearthfire

Step 5: Decide whether you want your kid to have a pet dog
There are several types of pets your kid can have, including Mudcrabs, Foxes, Frostbite Spiders, Rabbits and Skeevers. See here for a full list of pets:
Skyrim Hearthfire List of Pets your children can have

For most types of adoptable pets, the pet you get will be random. But for the dogs, you have control over the pet choice. If you want to have a pet dog, then go get one. Bring the dog back home and talk to the kid. The child will ask you if they can keep it, and if you say yes than the dog becomes a house pet whenever you are not using it as a follower.

Note: You can have a dog as a follower regardless of whether you have kids or not. But if you want to have the dog as a house pet, you need to adopt kids.

Step 5: Getting a pet dog (Optional)

If you want a dog to be one of your pets, bring it home. After you enter your house with the dog, talk to your kids. The child will say it’s a cool dog and ask if he can keep it. If you agree, than the dog becomes your pet.

Note: If instead of asking you whether he could keep the dog the kid doesn’t want the dog and remarks something like “Stupid dog”, fast travel to some far city and then come back and talk to the kid again

Step 6: Getting a random pet

If you do not want a dog, you can wait for your child to find and bring a random pet. This might take time, sometimes a day and sometimes more. When the child finds a pet he likes, he (or she) brings it into the house and asks you if he can keep it. Assuming you allow the kid to keep the pet, it becomes your house pet. There are all types of pets a kid can get, from mudcrabs to spiders. See list here:
Hearthfire Pet List

Once the kid has adopted the pet, you will now see the pet around the house, sometimes playing with the kid.

Much to my dismay, I could not find how to adopt unadoptable children (ie Mila Valentia) on the internet. I decided to dig through the creation kit, and have found out how to adopt any child by using the console. (Obviously you must have hearthfire to do this)

NOTE: As always, one should be careful when using console commands. This can/will lead to bugs (Mila will leave Breezehome in the morning only to vanish completely until dinner time for me) or even crashes, and I am not responsible for any damages.

STEP 1: Find a child that you wish to adopt, and dispose of their parents/guardians. While I don't believe that you must do this, it will most certainly prevent a plethora of bugs in the future. Note that attempting to adopt a child with a unique voice actor will most likely lead to a mute child.

STEP 2: Save your game.

STEP 3: Select the child with the console up and note the ID number that shows up. Then type these into the console: "setrelationshiprank [Child's ID] 4", "setrelationshiprank player 4", "addfac 3004290 1" This will make the child like you, and will add the child to the adoptable faction.

STEP 4: Speak to the child (This should bring up the adoption dialogue) then adopt them.

STEP 5: Follow them home and make sure that all of their functions (Dialogue, actions, routine) are in order. Make sure to wait, sleep, etc. to see if any crashes or bugs occur.

If any issues occur, reload your save and try again. If the issue persists, then you may not be able to adopt this particular child. If you've followed all of these steps with no issue then congratulations! You should be in the clear. Enjoy your child.