- Tell your child that they are adopted when they are young, don’t risk the chance of them finding out from a family member or a friend.
- Be very positive about why your child came to live with you and could not stay with their birth parents. Keep the story about their background very simple to help your child understand it.
- Explain to them that being adopted does not mean they are loved any less than a child who is with their birth parents.
- Let them know how excited you were when they came to live with you and how special they are to you and the family.
- Find simple ways such as role-playing, storytelling, or using a scrapbook with their early pictures to explain what adoption means to your child.
- Be very positive to your child about their adoption to help them accept it as a normal part of their own identity.
- Be sensitive to your child either becoming upset, confused or asking lots of questions about their adoption.
- Be aware that your child may be calm when you tell them and react later, be prepared for this.
- Be patient if your child wants to talk about their adoption again and again and give them lots of reassurance.
- If you are finding it hard talking to your child about their adoption, try not to show it too much. Your child will pick up on this and feel that their adoption is a bad thing.
- Tell your child the truth but remember if they are very young, some information may be very hurtful so hold this back.
- Try and think about some of the questions your child may ask and what your answers will be before you talk to them.
- Make sure you are able to give your child your full attention without phone calls or interruptions.
- Remember that if your child becomes angry this is a natural reaction as they’re probably feeling very confused.
Adopted children identify with their adopted family but also have their own identity as an adopted child.
Some children may need to ask questions to understand what has happened in their life, especially if their adoption brings them into a new culture or environment. This can be the same whether the child is adopted at birth or as an older child. As adoptive parents you can positively influence how your child feels about their identity. Find out as much as you can about your child’s background, or culture, and encourage them to talk openly about this part of who they are.
Confusion or questions about who we are come up for most of us at some time in our lives. Appreciating your child’s identity and positively tackling issues as they come up will help your child understand that they should acknowledge and be proud of who they are.
Source: The Adopter Hub provided by PACT© 2019