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How to Tell a Child They Were Adopted

How to Tell a Child They Were Adopted

120,000 children are adopted in the United States every year. Adoptions offer children a chance to experience permanent, loving families. Many of these families who adopted a child have concerns regarding whether or not they should tell their child that they were adopted. Of these, many decide that they would like to share the information regarding their birthing and adoption process with their child. Once this decision has been made, even more questions arise.

No one wants their child to have to face additional difficulties in addition to those that life will hand them so worrying about whether or not providing your child with information regarding their birthing and adoption process is only natural. Some worry that the knowledge that they were adopted would be one of these “additional” difficulties if they were to share the information.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), the concern regarding whether or not to tell a child they were adopted is a natural one. AACAP also advises that regardless of what age a child is advised about their adoption, they should be told and the information should come from their adoptive parents. In instances when the child discovers their adoption through some other means, they will often come to the conclusion (consciously or subconsciously) that their adoption is a subject of shame – it was, after all, kept secret from them. When adoptive parents advise their child of the adoption themselves, the message can be positive and focus on adoption as a good thing that is not a matter of shame or embarrassment. Being able to share the birth and adoption story with your child yourself will also establish additional lines of trust between adoptive parents and the child.

It’s natural for children to worry, especially when tough subjects are a part of their life at an early age. There are a lot of amazing resources available for adoptive parents who are in search of advice regarding how to tell their children they were adopted, but generally speaking there are a few main points to make sure are covered when discussing the matter with your child.

  1. Children will often feel apprehensive about the fact that they were adopted and assume that their biological parents “didn’t want them.”
  2. Children will also often conclude that they were available for adoption because they were “bad.”

Making sure that these two common misconceptions are addressed immediately will be a good first step once you decide to have the talk with your child about their own adoption.

If you have additional questions regarding adoption, handling post-adoption issues or how to tell your child that they were adopted, contact the adoption lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.

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