Ask AF: Tailoring Talks to Understanding

What adoption language you use depends on how much your child can understand.

Q: My eight-year-old has cerebral palsy, and is about five on a cognitive level. He’s been asking about the woman who “borned” him. We’re not sure how much he gets about adoption and wonder if this will confuse him — should we tell him what we know about her?


A: If you know that your son can process information at a five-year-old level, use adoption language suitable for kids that age, but be sure to answer his important and appropriate question. If you believe his question stems from confusion about whether you’re his “real” mom, use this as an opportunity to talk to him about what makes a mom “real” and why he isn’t being raised by the woman who gave birth to him.


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