A very important question – once you have taken the decision and opted for adoption, completed the process, and are now the legal adoptive parents, do you tell your child that he/she’s adopted?
This is a matter of personal choice; but ideally, you should. It’s better that he hears it from someone who loves him than a stranger. Besides, if he were to find out from someone else, it could be psychologically damaging. Tell him as soon as you think he’ll be able to deal with it.
And remember it’s a tough thing to hear. So make sure you are there to help them through it.
Consider these scenarios:
- Your adoptive child is an only child
You have thought through your decision, weighed the pros and cons and understood your situation before taking the step. Others may not be as enlightened. However, it is important that you share your thoughts and feelings with them, and help them appreciate your point of view.
- Your second child is adopted/ You have a biological child after adoption
This can be a very sensitive situation. Both siblings need to be made aware of these facts but only when they are both able to understand and handle it. And remember, if you don’t tell them, someone else will.
The most important thing you can do here is to demonstrate, not with just words but with actions that you do not consider either of them in a different light and that you give equal love, respect and care to both. Be careful not to favour one over the other. It could create great bitterness and rivalry between them, or between you and them.
There is a vast number of people that you and your adopted child will interact with in the course of your lives like teachers, acquaintances, friends, etc. Do they need to know the truth as well? Again this is subjective, but best avoided. It’s a personal thing, not for the world to know.
If the adopted child asks about his biological parents, what do you say? Easy; they deserve the truth. But meeting them or tracing them is not advisable till your child is old enough to make that decision rationally. Until then, all they need to know is, for whatever reason, their biological parents did not want them and their foster ones did.
Last and most importantly, there is NO difference between an adopted child and a biological one. What matters is the human being the child will eventually become that is a million times greater than mere blood relationship.