Adopting a child can be a powerful decision for everyone involved. While adoption brings joy and good things to many lives, there are some significant challenges presented by the adoption process. One of the biggest and most common challenges in adopting a child is deciding exactly when and how to inform a child that he or she was adopted.
The following will review some helpful advice to consider when telling a child about adoption.
What to Tell an Adopted Child
If you adopted a child as a baby, then he or she will likely have no recollection of any events that occurred before the adoption.
You should begin speaking about his or her adoption as early as possible in the child’s life. The child should equate the word “adoption” with a loving gesture even if he or she is not sure about some of the details yet. However you decide to speak about adoption, you should make sure that it is appropriate in consideration of the child’s age.
This advice underscores a recommended strategy regarding adoption: Parents should not have a one-time discussion with children about adoption but should instead create an ongoing conversation that evolves over time.
How to Tell a Child About Adoption
There are a number of ways to begin a conversation to reveal that a child was adopted.
The exact option that you ultimately select will be dependent on a number of factors including the child’s age. Try to be at ease during the discussion. By discussing adoption in a calm and relaxed way, you can avoid indirectly making your child feel uncomfortable.
Accept that Children Will Have a Number of Reactions
There is no one appropriate reaction for children of adoption to have upon discovering that they have been adopted. Adoptive parents should be understanding of the numerous emotions and reactions that a child might display. Make sure to give your child time to grieve the loss of their biological family. Also be prepared for any other negative emotions that the child might experience.
Never Criticize or Ignore the Birth Parents
It is vital that adoptive parents make a child’s birth parents part of the ongoing story. By not mentioning them or by openly criticizing birth parents, you are placing children in an uncomfortable position and directly communicating that there is something wrong with the child. You should similarly avoid saying anything disparaging about birth parents that will hurt your child’s feelings.
Find Support for Yourself
It is helpful to make sure that you receive adequate counseling as you and your child transition into awareness on both ends of the adoption. It can help to speak with other parents who successfully navigated the adoption process. It can also be helpful to speak with a therapist. It is better to be proactive about this next phase of adoption than to let problems arise.
Speak with a Skilled Georgia Family Law Attorney
The adoption process complex, but worth it. If you encounter any legal challenges, get the help of an experienced attorney. Contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, PC today to schedule a free initial consultation.