Talking with a Child About His/Her Adoption

From the moment your child is placed with you, you can begin bringing up adoption, your child’s birth country and how God brought him/her into your family.  As your child learns to trust you and as your child has questions or feelings to process about adoption, he/she will be more likely to come to you if you have been open and positive about adoption from the beginning.

  • Talk with your children at every age. Their understanding will change and mature as they grow up. They need to talk about it over and over.  It’s a lifelong topic for discussion.
  • Remember that talking about adoption involves some difficult topics such as loss and grief but it can also provide opportunities to support your child and build a closer relationship.
  • Always tell the truth. Tell the part of the truth that your child is thinking about and can understand at the time. Build on the truth with additional details as your child matures. Your truthfulness helps build trust in your relationship with your child.
  • Remember that this is your child’s story and belongs to your child. Be very careful about sharing your child’s private personal information with others. As your child matures he/she needs to have control over who knows that personal information.
  • Remember that any information is better learned from a parent in a supportive way than found out later from other sources without parental support.
  • Think ahead about your own feelings about the information and how you will talk with your child. Talk about your feelings with your spouse or another trusted person. Practice ways to explain the information before talking with your child.
  • Look for opportunities to discuss adoption. Movies, TV, and books often provide openings for valuable discussions. Parents should freely and comfortably bring up the topic of adoption and not wait for children to ask questions.