Telling Your Child They Are Adopted When and How

It can be difficult to know when and how you should be telling your child that they are adopted. In addition, there is often hesitancy on the part of adoptive parents, for a variety of reasons. You might not be sure it is the right time, or if perhaps it is already past the time that you should be telling your child they are adopted. Even if you think you’ve found the ideal time when you can tell your child they are adopted, you may not know where to begin deciding how to tell your child they are adopted.

When you go about telling your child they are adopted is up to you. Some parents have chosen, in the past, to wait until the teenage years before telling their child that they were adopted. Because adolescence is a difficult time already, this may not be the best time, however. Many experts suggest that parents are better off telling their child they are adopted earlier rather than later. In some ways, this can make the question of how to go about telling your child they are adopted somewhat easier, as small children tend to ask simpler questions than older children.

It may be, in some ways, hard to know how to start telling your child they are adopted. Still, especially at a young age, it doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Just like talking to small children about important but complex subjects such as religion, it is often best to introduce the idea slowly and over time. For example, if you are walking down the street with your little one, and he says, “Mommy! Look at the lady with the big tummy!” when you see a pregnant woman, you can explain that the woman has a baby growing up inside of her. You can then explain to your child that they did not grow up inside of your tummy, but that you are still his mommy, just as that woman will be that baby’s mommy. In this way, you don’t have to be deceptive to your child, and you don’t have to make a big deal about it either.

Telling your child they are adopted is an ongoing process. As your child is more able to understand things as they get older, you can explain more and more. You can tell how full having them come into your life made it, and how much you are glad that you could have them as your child. If the things you say don’t make sense to your child at the age of six, they might make more sense at eight, or ten.


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