Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Best Time to Tell a Child He Is Adopted

Telling a child that he is adopted is not an easy task, no matter what age the child is in. It is difficult for anyone to learn that the truth he knew all along was not the truth after all.

The difficulty increases as the child matures; hence, it is advisable to reveal the truth earlier and start answering the child’s questions as he grows older.

According to Dr. Steven Nickman, author of the article "Losses in Adoption: The Need for Dialogue," the best time to tell a child that he is adopted is between the ages of 6 and 8.

Telling them earlier may cause unnecessary fear in the child because children who are younger than 6, are still fearful that their parents may leave them.

They may not be able to understand also what adoption is all about. The word ‘adoption’ could be introduced pleasantly, however, during conversations.

After the revelation at the age of 6, the parent should try to demonstrate through their actions that they love the child just as much as they love the other children.

As the child grows, he would have gained confidence and knows that his adoption does not make his parents love him less. It is during his growing up time that his adoption could be slowly explained. How he was conceived by his biological mother, and similar questions.

The parent can do this as the situation arises, and should not be forced. On the other hand, revealing the truth during a child’s teen years can be devastating to a teen, who is assailed with peer pressure, and other teen problems.

He would also dislike the fact that the parents have kept the truth from him for so long. The worst scenario is if he comes to learn about the truth from strangers. That would surely break his heart. It would also be an abrupt process to the child, so experts do not recommend it.

Kids at the age of 6 to 8, however, could adjust quickly and would take the truth about their adoption as a natural process of their childhood. There would also be plenty of time for the parent to slowly explain more as the kids grow.

The way parents handle the revelation is a crucial factor of how the child would perceive adoption. Parents should be optimistic about it and the child would feel the positive energy as well; he would then perceive it as a positive experience.


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