When it comes to adoption, knowledge is power. Empower your child with the information he or she needs to develop confidently in your home by introducing adoption in an age-appropriate and engaging way.
Age-appropriate adoption information
Just like any important conversation with children, it's necessary for adoptive parents to put serious thought into how they discuss adoption with their kids. Discussions about adoption can either be healing or traumatic, depending on how the topic is managed by parents.
If you're looking for information about how to discuss adoption with your kids, consider the following pointers provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF).
Introducing the concept
Although opinions vary slightly, ACF reports that most child welfare experts advocate for parents to introduce the concept of adoption during a child's earliest years. Even if an infant or toddler can't yet grasp their adoption, simply using the word early and often will likely make your child more comfortable with the concept when it does arise later in his or her life.
Whether or not you've spoken with your child about adoption from birth, it's quite likely that he or she will begin to grasp a basic understanding of adoption between the ages of 2 and 4. Therefore, parents need to put some thought into how they want to introduce adoption during this age range. Your child won't need to know everything about adoption, but she will need to know that she is safe, loved, unique and unforgettable. Answer the following questions with your partner to determine how you want to introduce adoption to your little one:
Understanding developmental stages
Regardless of when you introduced adoption to your child, ACF indicates that it's important to understand your child's developmental age during your conversations.
Finding additional help
Discussing adoption with your child isn't an easy task. It requires emotional presence and tough questions. If you need additional assistance with your conversations, consider the following supports:
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