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How DO I Prepare My 3 YO for a Possible Adoption???

There is a possibility but no guarentee that we may be able to adopt my son's biological sibling in Feb. Mom is pregnant and still undecided whether she is keeping the baby. I have no idea what to tell my son. Most people have 9 months to prepare their other children On top of it I don't want to tell him it wil happen and then it doesn't. It's such a difficult transition for any toddler but this is even harder. ANY ADVICE???

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Asked by coolchic320 at 8:58 PM on Jan. 6, 2011 in Adoption

Level 16 (2,992 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • I know you want to prepare him, but I dont know if I'd tell him until you know for sure. You could bring up the subject in a general way. Like, "what would you think about having a little bro or sis someday" - but dont go beyond that for now. The concept of the baby in mommy's tummy is a bit abstract for them at this age & it doesnt become a reality until they see the baby. I'm sure he will do fine if it works out for you. As long as he's a little helper & still gets one-on-one attention, he'll be just fine. Good luck.

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 9:11 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • Our daughter had been asking for another sibling for a while by the time we learned that a woman was interested in us as parents for her newborn son. We had been telling our daughter that she could pray, and that we would be happy whether God chose to put a baby in my tummy or if He sent us another child through adoption. She would play with her dolls and say that she had just adopted a baby. When we got the call that he was definitely joining our family, we told her that we thought we had a little brother for her. We were pretty sure that it would happen, since birth mom had gone to court for the right to choose the family (the other option was to let DHS choose from among their foster families, which is where he was before he came home to us).

    Some families tell their older child, "We hope he/she will be able to stay". I would avoid calling the new child "brother" or "sister" until it is finalized. GL!

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 9:41 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • I say don't. At 3 they could not really comprehend where babies come from anyway. One day we have no babies and the next day we have oneLOL I don't think it really matters where the baby came from.

    Answer by sillytime at 10:00 PM on Jan. 6, 2011

  • I would not. Not until you know for sure. Here is the thing. You could tell him and set him up for failure. Not only would you be grieving but so would your son. I think the better thing to do is say there may be a baby who will come and live you but your not really sure. Explain that there is a woman is about to have a baby and she is not sure she has everything the baby needs. Tell him you will keep him updated. Also make sure to tell him there is a chance the baby will not come home with you. Keep it light and make it casual. This way if it the parent decides to raise her child then you will not have prepared your child for an even that didn't happen. She can also choose to have a different family raise that child. There are no set paths to choose from. You can always approach it from the stand point of, "We would love to have this baby be in our family too but if she lives with her mom that would be great too.

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:32 AM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • Hmmm....I'd go the "hope & pray" route. There's no way that we could "spring" another child into our home with our 3 y/o son. He'd need to understand it ahead of time, at least the possibility of it. A friend recently recommended a book called, "Families Change" on I agree with Iamgr8teful, that I'd say, "I hope that he/she gets to stay" so that the possibility of it leaving is always there, at least until finalization. You wouldn't want your 3 y/o to have the rug pulled out from under them if the child were there a while and then left. Hope this helps.


    Answer by doodlebopfan at 11:48 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • We are in the same situation. We are not saying anything to our 3 yr old son. He talks about having a baby brother here and there and just says, can I have one? He doesn't quite get adoption yet and if we just brought a baby home he seems to be totally ok with that. We don't want to talk about it and get him all excited knowing full well the possibility of not bringing the baby home. We would be traveling out of state for the adoption and will probably just have him meet the baby if the time comes. As far as calling the baby a brother or sister, that will happen as soon as they meet. At that point it's real to him and to us, the baby will always be a part of our hearts whether he/she stays with us or not.
    I also think its such an abstract thing to a 3 yr even if the baby were in your belly, this will be similar. One day no baby the next he/she is here. The get used to it really fast.

    Answer by lilsweetpea708 at 10:33 AM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • We consulted a child psychologist with this question because our state has a 60 day TPR and we were concerned with bringing a baby home that could leave. We were told to increase the frequency of times we talked about "What if God sent us another baby" and to make a point for bring up babies when ever we could but not to be specific. We were not supposed to mention it prior to the baby's birth but that plan went out the window when the bmom said to my dd, "do you want to feel your sister kick" and put her hand on her stomach.
    So prior and during the TPR period we had to explain that Bmom was asking us to watch the baby but it was not our baby yet. We tried to limit the "baby sister" comments from friends/families. We were clear to reinforce that dd was our child forever and that her bmom wouldnt change her mind.

    Answer by 2ndtimewish at 7:26 PM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • I have 2 adopted children, but one year before we adopted our first we had a baby girl for a week and had to give her back. So then we had his adoption which was succcessful but our attorney was not top-notch and we found out that we had taken him out of state illegally and that his adoption was not finalized. Long story, but a lot of lessons learned. Then another possible adoption that was progressing until it ended 4 weeks before birth. Finally, another successful adoption of a DD. We did not tell our son much the first time (he was 2), the second time he was almost 3 and we just told him that we might be getting a baby soon. We started calling the guest room the baby's room. Little things, not overdoing it. I agree that they don't really get the idea of where babies come from or what it will be like when the baby gets there, so don't stress too much about preparing them.

    Answer by 2adoptedangels at 3:34 PM on Jan. 16, 2011

  • We didn't tell our 2 1/2 yr old that we were going to adopt. We planted the seed (so to speak) about having a little brother or sister. Other than that, we didn't tell him much more b/c things can always change. She can decide to parent the baby and then how would you explain that to your son?
    Many of my friends who have had multiple children have said that the kids (especially when young) don't "get it" until the baby actually arrives.

    Answer by kristen308 at 2:12 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • I wouldn't say anything until you know for sure.

    Answer by HomeAlone45 at 6:21 PM on Mar. 2, 2011

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