Explaining Adoption to Children

Posted on Jul 11 2011 - 6:06am by admin

Part of child support resources involves the adoption experience. This can be challenging for some adopted children who may be bombarded with tactless queries from both peers and adults. Here are some tips designed to assist adopted children in handling those insensitive and tricky questions:

Have early talks about adoption

Waiting for the ‘right’ or ‘best’ time, or when the child is older ‘and can understand’ is usually a mistake, as it may be harder to bring up the subject then. The talks should be initialized when the child is a toddler or during his preschool years.

Create an open-door policy

It is important that adopted children know that they can approach their adoptive parents with ease and in comfort on any issue, as necessary.

Answer only what has been asked

Too much information too soon may not be helpful. Answer only the question asked or give only the information requested, at the time, because that is usually what the child is ready for and can handle.

Be age appropriate

Ensure that the language used to communicate with the child is suitable to the child’s age and level of comprehension.

Keep painful issues in the closet

Painful details, if any, regarding the child’s adoption, should be kept confidential. The child does not need to know about his parent’s criminal record, or alcoholism, etc.

Don’t hide it from the child

The fact that the child has been adopted should not be kept a ‘secret’ from him. Instead, he should be reassured of the love of both his biological and adoptive parents, which has placed him in the family of which he is a part.

Develop responses for insensitive questions

Children, as well as some adults, can be really tactless and even cruel regarding the adoption issue. Because of this, adopted children should be coached in respect of possible questions that could be asked, and their appropriate responses. These responses should be as short and simple as possible, and could include –

“Are you adopted?” “Yes.”

“How much did you cost?” “That’s personal.”