How do you tell your child he/she is adopted? What is the best way to avoid them feeling hurt because their parents didn't want them or couldn't take care of them?
I have always known that I was adopted. My parents were always very open and they came to me before I had to ever go to them. While it is easy for an adoptee to look at the "negative" side of this news (like "what was wrong with me," why didn't my mom want me," etc.) my parents focused on the positive aspect. They did a great job of explaining what a difficult decision it was for them but that it was the best for me. Everything I have in my life today was a "gift" from my birthparents. Depending on your child's age, my mom made an analogy when I was younger to my teddy bear (whom I loved deeply). She asked me that if I was unable to give my teddy all the love and affection I can now and that if for some reason I knew my teddy could have a much happier "life" with someone else, would I be willing to let him go. It was hard to understand at first but eventually the message got through.
So, find a way to focus on the positive aspects but DO NOT sugar coat the negative ones. There is some truth as to why they are with you and with patience and time they will understand. Telling the truth, focus on the positive, and reinforce that you are there for them if they have any questions. Let them know it's ALWAYS OK to talk about their adoption. I hope this helps.
Tough one. Think I would start by asking the
child what they think about adopted children
and the reasons for same. Feel them out on
what their attitude might be. Then I would
take my time, days, weeks, months whatever,
casually informing them about the possible
reasons for the existence of adoption, until
the time might be right. In any case what this
child is going to need is lots and lots of
love, support and the truth sooner or later.
I don't know when my parents told me I was adopted, all I know is that there has never been a time where I haven't known about it. If it is possible I believe a child should grow up knowing about it, sure for the first 10 years of their life they probably won't understand what it really means but giving them that time to process it before questions develop is important.
Because I've always known I've never felt like someone didn't want me, in fact I've felt even more wanted and loved. Open adoptions help children and young adults to develop their sense of self. By waiting until a child is older and more mature can backfire and send them into a swirl of confusion and in many cases depression and anger.
My parents must have told me when i was very little because i don't really remember ever being 'told' i was adopted. I do remember reading these cute little kid books about how being adopted meant you were loved by two mothers. my parents were always very open about it though (they'd have to be they'r whit white polish and i'm definitly mexican ) My mom would tell how she go the phone call and flew down with her mother to get me. and how they stopped at taco bell on the way back and how thats why i must like mexican food even though i grew up on perioges. She also told me what my birthmother looked like and gave me two gifts from her on my first communion. So i think just being open from the begining is the best way to go. If you don't tell a kid young he will feel very betrayed or fake when he get older and finds out after his birthmother or someone else try to contact/tell him.
by Dawn Michael 6 years ago
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