As preteens strive to define themselves, they must work adoption into the story.
Teens don't tend to talk with their friends about their feelings about being adopted, being teased, or other tough topics. But if you have a healthy, trusting relationship, they'll open up to you. An adoption therapist advises on maintaining an empathic connection with your teen.
“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.
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.
“My six-year-old has been asking a lot of new questions about adoption and his birth mother. He’s also told us that he loves her more than he loves us. How should we respond?”
As a teen, your child still needs and wants you to be a strong parent—not in a controlling fashion, but as a reliable authority in his or her life. Read on for 10 ways to establish yourself in this role.
“After years of seeming OK about being adopted, my teenage daughter has become sad and angry about it recently. How can I help her deal with her new emotions?”
Watching an engaging TV series that features a relevant storyline is a fun, low-pressure way to get your child talking about adoption. Here are five shows that mostly get it right.
The vast majority of our children have birth siblings, yet parents may wonder how to approach the topic. Adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees share how they talk about biological siblings, and build brother-sister bonds.
Our daughter is not a public exhibit. She deserves to be protected from questions that undermine the legitimacy of our family.
“I adopted my grandson through a kinship adoption. He’s now six and has recently begun calling me ‘Mommy’ and saying he was in my tummy. Is this OK, or do I need to reiterate that I’m his grandmother?”
“My daughter, who was adopted internationally, has been saying she wishes she got to see her birth mother, like her close friend who has a very open adoption. What can I say to her?”
“After my daughter told classmates that she was adopted, they responded that they ‘feel sorry’ for her. What can I do to help?”
Did you create a custom announcement, or adapt a pre-printed template? There are so many questions when sharing the news of your new family member. Our readers explain what they included.
A parent in an open adoption asks what do do (and how to explain to her son) when his birth family uses different discipline approaches for his birth sibling. Adoption expert Regina M. Kupecky, LSW, offers advice.
Whether you see your child’s birth parents frequently or have never had contact, you can still imbue your adoption and your relationship with your child with openness.
School projects that focus on family or personal history can be challenging or painful for children who were adopted. Learn why, and what you can do to create a more inclusive environment for the entire class.
After a late-summer day at the beach led to wistful new questions, this mom learned that talking about adoption with her child isn't always straightforward.
My daughter came to me at nine years old, so neither of us knows what she looked like as a baby, but walking these aisles is a way for us to recreate what we both lost.