Ask AF: Explaining Poverty

If your child was adopted from a poor country, she deserves to know what that means. But how do you explain poverty to a child who may not remember living through it?

Q: Our daughter is 10, and the idea of poverty has recently registered on her consciousness. We are traveling to her birth country this summer, and I can personally speak to the poverty you witness there on a daily basis, including the gut-wrenching sight of child beggars. How can we prepare her for this before, and talk to her during the trip?


A: Preparing your daughter for this experience will be hard. Start talking now about what she may see and the feelings it may bring up. Share your own thoughts about the poverty you saw in her birth country. By doing so, you will give your daughter tools and terms she can use to articulate her feelings when she is there. (Make sure she knows that poverty exists everywhere, not just in her birth country.)

Copyright © 1999-2024 Adoptive Families Magazine®. All rights reserved. For personal use only. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.

More articles like this

Elizabeth Curry with some of her children featured in May M. Tchao's documentary Hayden and Her Family.