Adoption is a beautiful decision—bringing love and joy to parents and children alike. Nonetheless, adoption comes with some unique challenges. One of these challenges is figuring out how and when to have the adoption conversation with your child.
You love your adopted child as much as if they were your biological child. You may be worried about discussing their adoption with them, because you worry it may cause distance between you. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Being open about this subject from the beginning will benefit your child’s development.
When to tell them
If you adopted your child as a baby, they should not remember a time when they did now know about their adoption. Start talking about adoption with your child early on—before they understand what it means. They should grow up being exposed to the word “adoption”—just as they are exposed to the word “love,” even when they don’t yet understand its meaning.
How to tell them
There are many ways to talk about adoption with your child, and the manner will vary throughout their life—depending on their age. The important thing is that however you discuss it, be at ease. You never want your child to feel that their adoption was a bad thing—or something to be ashamed of. If you convey discomfort when talking about it, they could interpret it this way.
Always talk about your child’s adoption as a positive thing. Create an atmosphere in which they feel comfortable talking about it—and asking questions. By approaching the topic of adoption in this way, you can help your child to feel proud about their story.