I used to see adoption from only one viewpoint—that of the adoptive parents. But working in the field before becoming an adoptive mother opened my eyes to how complex and bittersweet adoption can be.
Explaining Adoption to Family, Friends, and Others
When your family grows through adoption, your family and friends may need a little adoption education—and some may just not “get” it. Find pointers on explaining adoption to people who touch your family’s life, responding to nosy questions, and safeguarding the private details of your child’s pre-adoption history.
“We are adopting my sister-in-law’s teenage son after fostering him for five years. What can I say to her at family gatherings, to family who still don’t get that we’ll be his legal parents—and to my son, who hears all of this?”
When you and your child don't look alike, the world wants to know why. Parents who adopted transracially share how they explain strangers' questions and comments to their children.
“My husband was advised that some adoptive parents ‘hide’ the adoption process and feign pregnancy on social media for friends and extended family. Has anyone done this?”
With such a spectrum of opinions about adoption, it’s hard to know if we talk about it too much, or not enough, and in the right way. But watching my son navigate adoption comments at school reassured me of his comfort with it.
Families share their experiences with school and adoption issues.
Start small, find like-minded members, and grow with your kids.
As I listened to the haunting soundtrack recently, I realized that The Truman Show is also about adoption. As the realization of his life dawns on Truman, he confronts his fears, leaves his home, and runs straight to the only person who has ever told him the truth.
As parents, we are neither selfish nor selfless, but we are surely blessed.
“I need help dealing with unsupportive relatives who seem to think ‘adoption’ is a dirty word. How can I talk with them about adoption?”
When your child's classmates have questions, you can provide the answers.
There's this poem I'm supposed to love. I first read it when we adopted our oldest son: Not flesh of my flesh nor bone of my bone/But still miraculously my own./Never forget, for a single minute,/You didn't grow under my heart, but in it.
Our daughter is not a public exhibit. She deserves to be protected from questions that undermine the legitimacy of our family.
I'd expected to fit in at the adoptive parents' support group. At the first meeting, however, I found I was the only mom who'd adopted domestically, who looked like her child.
When my daughter Hope started kindergarten at her progressive school here in diverse New York City, we were both taken by surprise by the persistent, direct adoption questions she faced from classmates, questions that adults would be reluctant to pose.
Many of us start out thinking we are simply adding a child to our life. But for the families featured here, the immeasurable joy they found through adoption inspired them to serve needs even greater than their own.
Advice for parents from parents on how to navigate explaining adoption to the classroom during back to school season, and beyond!
Near-strangers feel compelled to tell me about friends who got pregnant after adopting and say, “There’s still hope….” But I don’t hope for a biological child; I hope for a healthy relationship with my two kids.
Waiting to adopt is hard, especially when the wait stretches on for years. Real parents share the words that comforted them and got them through their waits.
Parents weigh in on talking with their child's teacher and sharing resources at the start of a new school year.