If you’re an adoptive parent, you may have wondered when the right time is to tell your child that they are adopted. In my experience, and according to data, the answer is clear: from day one. Here’s why.
Avoiding Secrets and Building Trust
If you wait for the “right time” to tell your child that they are adopted, you will never find it. There is never a good time to share this kind of information. If you hold onto it, it creates secrets and can lead to a lack of trust between parent and child. I met someone recently who found out they were adopted at the age of 22. This discovery rocked her world, and she had suspicions about it since she was a teenager. The fact that her family kept this secret from her broke her trust in them.
Making Adoption a Normal Part of Life
Talking to your child about adoption from the very beginning makes it a normal part of their life. If you wait to tell them, it can make adoption seem like a taboo or a secret that needs to be hidden. By making it a part of their life from the beginning, they grow up knowing that they are adopted and do not have to learn it later in life. This can lead to a more positive adoption experience for everyone involved.
Supporting Future Relationships
I recently came across a study that involved 524 adoptees who grew up in closed adoptions and had reunited with their birth families. The study found that 99% of these adoptees did not support closed adoptions. Additionally, 97% were glad to know the identity of their biological family, even if the reunion was not necessarily a positive experience. 98% of adoptees who were late discoveries wish that they had been told sooner.
It’s clear that telling your child that they are adopted from day one is the best course of action. By doing so, you can avoid secrets and build trust, make adoption a normal part of their life, and give them the information they need to make sense of their identity. While the decision to tell your child that they are adopted is a personal one, I can’t encourage you enough to do so.
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