How to Explain to A Child They are Adopted

Adoption in NWAExplaining to a child that they are adopted can be an exciting moment as well as one filled with anxiety and uncertainty.  There are several ways adoptive parents convey the news to the child, some better than others.  There is one excellent way to explain to a child that they are adopted, but first let’s discuss a few methods adoptive parents should avoid.

  1.  An Indirect Conversation

“Great job, Johnny.  You really know how to do macaroni art.  Speaking of macaroni art…”  This isn’t the start you’re looking for, mom and dad.  When an adoptive parent indirectly tells their child they are adopted, the situation may be awkward and seems as if the parent is hesitant or somehow ashamed to openly discuss the child’s adoptive roots.  Adoptive parents should be forthcoming and ready and willing to answer their child’s questions and concerns about adoption.

  1.  The “They will figure it out on their own”

Though this isn’t a common strategy, often times, adoptive parents put off the conversation long enough for children to figure out the news by themselves.  A child is better served learning about their adoption from the adoptive parents, rather through the child’s own investigation and research.

  1.  Allowing movies that involve adoption as a time to break the news to a child

The option to use cinema choices such as Annie or Despicable Me may be a tempting segue into the topic, but an open and honest conversation with your child is a better avenue.  Do not let a film be the springboard when telling your child about their adoption.

Upon examining a few poor methods to convey the news to the adopted child, below is an excellent method we at Adoption Arkansas recommend.

Sit down and have an open and honest conversation with the adopted child.  Explain to the child they were specifically chosen by the adoptive parents, and are wanted and loved just as if they were a biological child to the adoptive parents.  Allow the child to think over the news, and then be open to questions and concerns the child may ask.  Repeat the love you have for the child again and again, and convey to the child how celebrated their inclusion to the family is.  After all, adoption is a wonderful opportunity and should never be spoken of in a shameful or evasive manner.

For more on this method check out http://adoption.com/how-to-tell-your-kids-theyre-adopted-and-how-not-to/.