As an adopting parent, sharing adoption information with your child may be plaguing your mind with worry.
How much should you tell them? Is it better to let them know they are adopted? Or should you wait until “the right moment” to tell them so they can be better prepared mentally and emotionally?
Children are smart and intuitive. If you try to sweep their adoption under the rug, they will recognize that you’re not comfortable with it. And they will internalize the message that their adoption is something that shouldn’t be talked about – that it should be hidden away.
When you, as the parent, set the example of talking about adoption in normal, everyday life, it teaches the child that there is nothing wrong with the fact that they are adopted.
We recommend openly talking about your child’s adoption right from the start. Some parents like to put together Life Books for their child, containing pictures that capture moments of the child’s adoption. This gives the child a chance to see the journey that brought them to their family! Some children may love looking through it every night, while others may put it away and not look at it, which is totally okay. The important part is that the child always has the stability of knowing that you were eager and hopeful for their arrival!
Another great way to normalize talking about adoption is through play groups and support groups with other adoptive families.
For these families, adoption has shaped their lives in the best way possible! And above all: adoption is a normal (and beautiful!) fact of life!
Don’t wait for the right moment to tell your child about their adoption. I promise, that right moment will never come! Instead, demonstrate to your child that their adoption is normal, not something to surprise them with later in life for an emotional, and shocking, reveal. Give your child the gift of certainty and empowerment through the knowledge that they were adopted and you were eager to have them join your family right from the start!
What did you think of this week’s All About Adoption Episode? Do you have any questions about sharing difficult adoption information with your child? We’d love to hear them!
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