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If you have or plan to adopt, when do you plan to explain to your children about their adoption?

I ask because I am a child of adoption. My bio mom left me on my adoptive parents doorstep at 8 months of age. My bio mom knew my adoptive mom as being a kindergarten teacher that worked at a local school for many years and thought she would be a good mom and just left me on their doorstep late one evening in 1977. I knew all about adoption by the age of 8!


Asked by truthteller0722 at 1:36 AM on Aug. 8, 2009 in Adoption

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Answers (17)
  • They should know even before they understand what it is.

    Answer by randi1978 at 2:51 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Im supposed to start my foster parent classes and adoptive parent classes as sooon as I move into my new house. I think being that I want to adopt a baby/younger child who is already a foster child there will be no way of getting around the fact that they are adopted, but if they really didnt know, I havent thought that far ahead, i dont know what age is a good age, hopefully the classes will help me learn more about that

    Answer by Dom123123 at 1:40 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • did not ask but I will give my advice as a child of adoption myself. I say explain to them in the simplest terms possible from the earliest point in time possible exactly how he/she became a member of your family. They will thank you later!

    Answer by truthteller0722 at 1:54 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Wow! Today that couldn't happen. Not the not telling....but the staying with the couple who your birthmother left you with. Today the child would be taken into protective custody and the child would go to live in a foster home. More likely than not, if that family who "found" you is not licensed as a foster family, they could not adopt you. You have an incredibly amazing story. Your adoptive parents didn't have the same level of information, adoption education and support that there is today. I have friends who were born in the 70's who are adoptees and think it is odd that a child grows up knowing their birthparents. Abnormal. I had a woman director of a child development center tell me it wasn't healthy to have a child know his birthparents or history....she knew b/c she adopted her daughter (who was adopted in the 70's). At a certain point thinking changed. 


    Answer by frogdawg at 6:48 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • It is hard for those that came before us to view adoption as something to openly talk about and discuss. I think it changed for several reasons: birthmothers are more assertive in maintaining contact and more assertive in the adoption planning process. I know that the social work movement advocated for more openness in relationships between adoptive parents and birthparents for the psychosocial well being of the adoptee. We also place greater emphasis on knowing our medical history and family medical history today than we did decades ago (thanks to the human genome project).  "Telling" a child isn't such an issue for many children and parents today.  Many  children don't remember a time not knowing.  Perhaps there will be those who want to keep it secret - but I wouldn't propose that to be healthy.


    Answer by frogdawg at 6:54 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Hi, I have a son whom I place with a great family, I have been able to see him and he knows his other siblings. His parents have told him from birth that he came from my tummy and that i loved him so much that I gave him the best mommy and daddy I could find. Now that my son is 10 he has started calling both me and his mom "Mommy".

    Answer by aztripsmom at 8:20 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • the earlier the better.

    Answer by milmiracle at 8:37 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Our 15 month old has been told from birth about her birthparents and how much they love her. I'm working on making her a storybook right now with photos and age appropriate wording so that we can read it together. We don't want to make the fact that she's adopted a huge deal and have it completely define who she is, but we want to talk about it openly and honestly and don't want there to be a time when she doesn't know about it. We have ongoing contact with her birthmom via phone and email and I'd love visits, but they live far away and chose not to tell their other children about the adoption, which I personally feel is a mistake, but is their choice.

    Answer by ZoeyBethsMomma at 9:06 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • Dom123123-We are adopting thru foster care also, and it depends on the age of the child as to whether or not, "of course, they know". Our FS was 6 m/o when placed, & just recently (almost 2 yrs later) has his cased been moved to adoption. The last 22 months have been foster care, TPR, and appeals process. You don't actually start talking about adoption at day 1 like you would in infant or intern'l adoption, because the goal is reunification. I have only recently "talked" to him about adoption & at 28 m/o & barely verbal, it's only an introduction. In older children in foster care (and I mean 3-5, as well as "older") as the case moves that way, they can pivot them toward not going home, how would you like to live here forever? & being adopted, etc. They may not "get it" but are easier to talk to about it. It does give the child a choice whereas in infant adoption they don't get a choice, but then neither do bio kids.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 9:38 AM on Aug. 8, 2009

  • aztripsmom-Now that my son is 10 he has started calling both me and his mom "Mommy".

    This shows that you & his parents must have a great relationship and have his best interests at heart. You must be very proud of him!

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 12:03 PM on Aug. 8, 2009