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Will My Child Know About His or Her Adoption?

If you are considering adoption for your child, you probably have questions about when, how, and what the adoptive family will tell your child about his or her adoption. Will your child always know that he or she was adopted? What will your child know about you? How will the adoptive parents share your child’s adoption story?
It is highly recommended that children know about their adoption from a young age, and in most adoptive homes, it is something to be celebrated and discussed regularly. Today, many adopted children are raised knowing that they were adopted and that their birth parents chose adoption out of love.

After you place your child for adoption, it will be up to the adoptive parents to introduce the topic of adoption to the child as he or she grows. However, you are in control of your adoption plan, and you can choose a family that will provide the best for your child and share the information you want him or her to have about their adoption story.

The amount and type of adoption information that is shared with your child will be up to you and the adoptive parents to decide. You can work with your adoption professional to discuss this topic with the adoptive family prior to placement. Here are a few additional ideas of ways to make sure your child knows what you want them to know about their adoption:

  • Share your wishes with the adoptive family prior to the adoption. As you are getting to know prospective adoptive parents, it is OK to ask them how they plan to talk about adoption in their home. Consider asking them when and how they plan to introduce the topic of adoption and what adoption details they will share with your child. You can request that they share as much or as little information about you and your circumstances as you’d like.
  • Determine the type and frequency of post-placement contact you’d like to have with your child and the adoptive family. Today’s adoptions are increasingly open, and it is up to you to decide how much or how little contact you’d like to have after the adoption. You have the option to receive pictures and letters with updates about your child as he or she grows, and you may even develop a close relationship with the adoptive family that allows for more frequent phone calls, emails or even visits. If you choose to pursue an open adoption, you can play a role in telling your child his or her adoption story someday.
  • Give your child a gift, letter or other symbol of your love for them. Many birth parents complete a keepsake book for the adoptive parents to share with the child. This could include photos, letters, drawings, important family history and medical information, and anything else you’d like your child to know about you as they get older. Giving a keepsake book or letter to your baby gives you the opportunity to share your reasons for choosing adoption and to tell them, in your own words, how much you care about them.

Your child’s adoptive parents will likely be very grateful to you for making their dream of parenthood a reality. By choosing adoption, you are giving them and your child an incredibly loving and selfless gift — and that is something they will likely be eager to share with your child.