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Telling your child their story from one adoptee's viewpoint
I wasn’t sure of the best group for this post.
This is just one adoptee’s viewpoint and no doubt others will disagree.
First of all, one should keep separate the reasons for why the child was relinquished from why you adopted them - they are two separate things.
When the child asks “why was I adopted”, he is normally asking “why was I relinquished” not why you adopted him.
I think APs should just be honest, age appropriately of course. If you don’t know too much, it is probably best to say “she wasn’t able to parent you at this time” (and give what reasons you know) or “she wasn’t in a position to parent”. Don’t say “she didn’t want to parent” or anything implying that you know her feelings.
In regards to facts you do know, when the adoptee is old enough and they want to know more, then I think you should tell them the truth and let them decide. Sometimes APs want to leave out certain factors, yet sometimes that extra factor might help explain another factor. For example, if a bmom was addicted to drugs and also worked on the streets, an AP might not want to mention the working on the streets as they think it might be too much at once, yet both factors together may help give more of an insight.
One thing I see a lot of is APs saying how many abortions the BP has had or that they considered an abortion before continuing the pregnancy - in my opinion, it is not the APs business to be telling their child that - I don’t think the BPs should mention it to the adoptee either unless the adoptee specifically asks the bparent, and even then there are ways to handle it that are best coming from the bmom’s mouth only.
If you want to discuss with your child why you adopted them, then I think you should say, separately to above, something like “the reason we decided to adopt you are” so the child doesn’t assume that your reasons for adopting him contributed to why he was relinquished. Don’t go using flowery BS. Just say you wanted to raise a kid, that should suffice. Most adoption books I’ve read seem to be about the adoptive parents journey - some of them sound like the APs have hunted the child down - I think if I was read some of these books, I’d worry that I had to make all the time, money and effort my APs put into getting me worth it, putting extra pressure on me.
I also personally dislike anyone deciding another’s “reality” for them, eg telling them they were always meant to be in your family and that their bmom was the means for getting them there. This also goes for bmoms saying these things too - eg “my child is where he was always meant to be” - I don’t want anyone telling me where I should be, let me decide for myself, thank you. Also, I get sick of the “your child will find YOU” as if we adoptees just rented our bmom’s womb until we found the perfect house. I think another factor with these “you were always meant to be with us statements” is that I feel that the person saying it feels that the means justifies the end.
So in summary, my opinion is - stop with the mystical rubbish and just be honest (age appropriatey of course).
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