When you adopt a child, you hope that the life you give that child will be as normal as possible. For some adoptive parents, talking to your adopted child about their being adopted can jeopardize that sense of normality, but experts say it’s essential for the well-being of your child. Chances are pretty good that they’ll find out somehow, and it’s always best that they learn it from you and that it be a positive experience. So what’s the best way to help your adopted child understand the whole concept.
The earlier you openly discuss the fact that your child was adopted, the easier it will be for everyone involved. Your child will grow up with an understanding of the language of adoption. It will also help you get used to the words, and fine tune your use of language while they are still in the developmental stage.
Don’t Tell Them More Than They Can Understand
For a very small child, it’s probably more appropriate to use the language of a story. Be certain you are speaking to the listening of your audience. If your child is four years old, you need to use a style and words that make sense to a four-year-old. Often, because the story is so much a part of their lives, kids stop asking a lot of the questions as they grow older. But if questions persist into their teens, you can have a more adult conversation with them.
Tell the Truth
It’s common for adoptive parents to want to make everything positive. Don’t make up stories about birth parents or attribute motives when you don’t know what they are. Stick to the facts as much as you can, but remember that small children may not fully understand the facts. Don’t tell them more than they can understand.
Be Willing to Have the Conversation as Often as Necessary
Adoption is a complicated process, and even more so for the child. You won’t answer all their questions in a single conversation.
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