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  • How Should Discussions about Adoption be Approached?

  • Discussions

    Do not approach discussions with your child about adoption like it is a "big deal." Children are very astute and know when their parents are upset. They will react to your emotions and feel that the topic is something that they should feel upset or ashamed about.

    When talking to your child about their adoptive status, always emphasize that you are their parent and that you love them. If they have biological siblings, stress that you love them the same way as their brothers and/or sisters.

    When raising any child, differences and similarities should always be celebrated. The individuality of any child, adopted or not, should be embraced. It is important for children to know what makes them different and unique, as well as how they are similar to the family and what their role is within the family. Even though your child is not biological, it is okay to talk about how they are similar to you-how they look like you, behave like you, have the same interests, etc., as well as how they are different.

    If your child is of a different race or culture, celebrate those differences as well. Encourage the exploration and celebration of the art, language and culture of your child's country or ethnic background. If possible, introduce your child to people of the same background. By not embracing the cultural differences of your child, you send the message that you are not accepting of them.

    Parents should talk about connections. Explain to your children that connections, like the bonds of love and family, are not dictated by biological factors or blood lines. For older children, offer an example that they can relate to. Maybe they have a friend that they love very much and explain how that love is not predicated on factors like biology.

    How Should Parents Deal with the Topic of Birth Parent(s)?