Ask AF: What's the Big Secret?

If your child starts making a big deal about keeping his adoption "secret," should you be worried?

Q: My eight-year-old son has been fielding questions about adoption since he was very young, and he is comfortable with the topic. Recently, though, he’s been telling classmates that he was adopted, but asking them to keep it secret. Should I be worried about anything? Is he testing the waters to find out how other kids view adoption?


A: Yes, this is the age when non-adopted children become curious about adoption. It sounds like your son has discovered this and is enjoying both the attention and having control over who learns his “secret.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

Still, you might want to have a heart-to-heart talk with him about how hard it is to keep a secret, so he will not be hurt when he learns that his “secret” has been leaked to other children in his class. This might be the time for you (and your son, if he wants to help) to give an adoption talk or presentation in his class. If your son agrees that it’s a good idea, talk with him beforehand about how much personal information each of you is comfortable sharing.


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