When is it time to tell your adopted child that he or she is adopted? The best policy is to have an open and honest dialogue about adoption as early as possible.
Being honest about your child’s adoption with them will help them form a positive view of adoption. If your child knows they are adopted and feels comfortable talking about it, they will be more likely to take pride in their identity and origin.
How to Talk About Adoption
Start early by using adoption language and vocabulary in everyday conversations at home. Even if your adopted child is still an infant, start incorporating adoption terms into your interactions with them. That way those terms will feel normal and comfortable to them as they grow up. It is important to always talk about adoption in a positive light to develop positive associations.
Adoption and Storytime
For young children, one excellent way to introduce the idea of adoption is to read adoption-themed storybooks. Books like “Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born” by Jamie Lee Curtis and “I Wished For You: An Adoption Story” by Marianne Richmond are wonderful stories that cast adoption in a positive and loving light. Add books like these to the bedtime story rotation to further encourage a positive relationship with adoption.
Don’t Be Afraid of Questions
As your adopted child grows older, he or she may begin to ask tough questions about adoption. Who were their birth parents? Why did they place them for adoption? Be honest with your child when answering these questions, but remember to continue using positive adoption language. For example, the term “placed for adoption” is much more appropriate than “given up.” Let your child know that it is always okay to ask questions and that it is natural and healthy to be curious about adoption and talk openly about their feelings.
Maintaining an open and honest dialogue about adoption with your child is extremely important. By fostering positive ideas about adoption in your child’s mind, you are helping them to become comfortable being who they are. Let them know that you will always be there to answer their questions honestly and help them through whatever concerns they have. After all, an adopted child’s adoption story is an important part of their identity. Help them own that story and be proud of it.
Author: Destiny Adoption Services
Destiny Adoption Services is proud to support and guide birth parents and adoptive families on the journey of adoption. We’re a state licensed nonprofit adoption agency with four decades of adoption experience, and our professional team of experts includes moms, adoptive moms and birth mothers who provide compassion combined with trusted resources and skills.