This month we had our group session on how to talk to our adopted child(ren) about their adoption and when they should know their whole story. It was really informative and helped to talk through how to handle questions and answers when the time is right.
Andy and I both fully believe in the open adoption aspect of our agency and have always felt that if we knew the answers, there was nothing that our child shouldn’t know about their past and where they come from. We want our child to be comfortable asking us any questions that they have about their adoption story.
It all starts with them knowing from the beginning that they were adopted. Since we are open to a trans-racial adoption there is a high probability that it will be outwardly noticeable that our child is not biologically related. Even in cases where it isn’t as evident, it is better for them to know sooner than later. With today’s technology it is easy for people to learn information and if they don’t hear it from their parent’s first an adopted child can feel betrayed.
A large portion of the group was spent in discussing the difficult topics about your child’s adoption. While we were talking about how to discuss some of those topics, we talked about what age a child should know their whole adoption story, the good and the bad. By the time a child is a preteen they are old enough to know all the details about their biological family, the reasons why they were adopted, biological medical history, etc.
I don’t necessarily look forward to some of the topics we might be faced with, but I know that it will be best for everyone involved if we are honest and open with any information we have. One side topic that was discussed was how to handle questions about their adoption at inconvenient times, and how that is not any different from biological kids asking questions at times when you wished they hadn’t. For instance, when children ask what sex is in the middle of the grocery store checkout (who doesn’t want to try and answer that at the time 😉 ).