“My nine-year-old has been asking me about her birth mother. I was able to find her on social media, but I’m worried about sharing the photos I found.”
Talking About Adoption - Explaining Difficult Details
Children need to know all the aspects of their adoption stories, but parents may not know how to explain some details. Below, find expert advice on talking about tough adoption topics, such as poverty, criminal behavior, abandonment, abuse or neglect.
A mother seeks advice on sharing difficult birth family details with her daughter, and how this might affect their open adoption relationship.
An adoptive mother explores adopting her son’s biological sister, but realizes she wouldn’t be able to meet the child’s medical needs. She seeks advice on how to tell her son.
Growing up in Trinidad, I didn’t use the word black to describe myself. But as the mother of two black children in the U.S., I walk the fine line of raising them to believe they are capable and worthy while understanding that everyone in this country has been taught to discount their value.
My child’s birth mother has a drug addiction. How should I explain this to him? How can I do so without sounding judgmental about his birth mother?
“I know that my children’s birth siblings were abused by their birth parents, but my children don’t talk about trauma in their earlier lives. How should I talk with them about this?”
“When my daughter was in her teens, we sent a letter to her birth mother via our adoption agency, but never heard back. Yesterday, I got a social media message from her birth mother’s sister, which shared sad news. How do I break this news to my daughter?”
When older children argue and act out, it’s often connected to events from their past. How could any child move through 14 foster placements unscathed? But last night, another clash, followed by a heart-to-heart, brought us one piece closer to feeling like a solid family.
“We just found out that we won’t be able to adopt the child we’ve been fostering. How do we tell the child, and explain to our older daughter?”
The breakup of a family can be especially hard for adopted teens. Here's why.
“I just discovered that my daughter’s birth mother died. My daughter is a preteen and rarely asks about her birth parents. Should I tell her this now, or wait? And, if so, how do I bring it up?”
Films with adoption or foster care storylines, or with themes of separation, identity, or belonging, can spark tough, must-have conversations with your children. Ready to start watching—and talking? Start with one of these recommendations.
When children are exposed to violence—in their first home, at school, or in the media—it's our job as parents to help them process it. Here's how.
Often, the loss of a grandparent will be your child's first experience with death. If a child is close to her grandparent, the loss will be that much harder.
“How do we disclose a lifelong medical condition to our child, and talk with her about lacking any information about her birth parents?”
Experts offer talking tips and sample language for discussing neglect, abuse, abandonment, and other painful parts of your child's adoption story.
Would it really be possible to fill out my daughter's hazy memories by typing names into a search engine?
"How can we explain birth family's drinking or drug use?" Older child adoption expert Gregory Keck, Ph.D. answers a reader's question.
As your teen's thinking becomes more sophisticated, she'll want to know more about her adoption.
Here's how to tell your child the difficult facts about his adoption in positive, age-appropriate ways...and how to keep the conversation going.