For parents who adopted infants and decided not to tell them the circumstances surrounding their birth, having the big adoption reveal is one of the most difficult conversations they’ll ever have. Especially with the stigma behind adoption and not being a “real” family, being told of their adoption might sometimes leave children feeling like the world was yanked off their feet.
Why Should You Tell Your Child That They Are Adopted?
You may think that it does not matter whether or not they are adopted because you love them like any mother loves her children. While this may be true, hiding their adoption and them finding out might lead to feel like they’ve been lied to and that their trust has been betrayed. It might also make your child feel like they’re not who they thought they were, leading them to be confused about their identity and who they truly are.
When Should You Tell Your Children That They Are Adopted?
Many experts suggest that an adoption should not be kept secret. Hiding the adoption might make the child feel like it is a secret to be ashamed of. If anything, they advise that the word “adoption” should be introduced to the child as early as 2-4 years old. Gently explain to your child that while your family is not formed the way most families are, it does not mean that they are any less loved than biological children. Comfort your children by reminding them how happy you are that you chose for them to be a part of your family and that they are what made your family complete.
How Do I Tell My Children That They Are Adopted?
The number one rule here is honesty. Don’t wait for your children to find from someone else about their adoption. Sit them down and have an honest conversation with your child. It is important to be patient and understand with them as they might feel conflicted and confused. Tell your child that you are there to answer any questions they may have and that you will support them with what they might decide to do.
It is important to remind your child that while they may not share your genes, that does not diminish the love you have for them nor does it take away the place they have in your home.