"you're adopted" if and when to have the talk... — The Bump

"you're adopted" if and when to have the talk...


My name is Natalie and my husband and I are in the process of becoming foster/adoptive parents an I myself was adopted. My birth mom gave me up at birth in a closed adoption but I eventually found her information and contacted her, she was very cold and unwilling to have any sort of relationship or tell me anything about my birth family. I have an amazing adopted family and was not looking for a parent, but sadly she was unwilling to have a civil conversation with me.

My parents told me that I was adopted at a young age. They sat me down on the bed, explained what adoption was, and that they loved me very much and wanted a baby so badly and god answered their prayers. They gave me books about adoption and tried to make it feel ok and normal. I feel that I was too young and that their telling me negatively influenced my decisions and actions in childhood. I searched for love in the wrong places, felt like I didn't really belong and now that I am in my 20's and was looking for answers find myself hurt because of my birth mothers harshness. I almost wish that they didn't tell me. This is just my person experience and opinion. 

Re: "you're adopted" if and when to have the talk...

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  • I'm very sorry you had such a negative experience...


    If you and your husband re currently looking into being foster/adoptive parents, though, I'm certain that you've seen that adoption now is really nothing akin to what it was 20something years ago. 

     In terms of adoption- at least in domestic infant adoption- which is what my family is pursuing, there is a significant level of openess as desired by the birth mother. So, for instance, the person we are matched with has expressed that she'd like to be available with great regularity during the child's life- and to have contact etc regularly. I don't ever envision my partner or I have "the talk" with our child because I think that there is never going to be a question about adoption- we'll have their profile book and photo albums of their birth family and we'll have contact with their birth mom- so while we might need to explain what adoption is at some point, it's not going to be an egregious surprise because they will know in age appropriate ways that they are adopted.

     I do hope that in your process to become parents you are somehow able to heal the hurt that you've had to experience. 



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  • My friends celebrate Gotcha Day on the anniversary of when they adopted their daughter. They never had to have "the talk" because she has always known. Maybe it is an option for your family?
  • I am sorry that you have negative feelings toward how your parents handled your story.  

    Read more about what current trends are and why.... you may disagree but there's real thought that normalizing it by talking about it in a matter of fact way from day one is a good approach.  That's what we are doing.  

    Also, get familiar w/current language.  While it may seem like a nuance to say "made an adoption plan" or "placed in an adoptive family" as opposed to "gave up", these small things might matter.... Not sure but worth thinking about :)

    PS-  Welcome and hope you stick around. 

    image Best friends and sisters... 24 months and 16 months
  • My family adopted a sweet baby girl from China when I was 11 years old.  We too have always celebrated "gotcha day" and the anniversary of her and mom coming home from China and meeting the rest of the family.  She has grown up watching videos of herself and mama in China, and seen pictures, and watched the video of her coming home to meet dad and siblings.  She has always known she was adopted, and she has always known she was loved and adored.  I think that is the best way to approach things, IMO, because I can see, especially if you wait into the teens, how it could breed rebellion, and be a LOT harder than if you always knew.  Good luck figuring things out, and prayers going up for the hurt you went through.  

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    BFP #1 - July 28, 2013.
    EDD: April 9, 2014
  • Jamie Lee Curtis, who adopted 2 children, has written some amazing books about adoption and children/parenting in general. I find her books inspiring and educational for all: http://www.jamieleecurtisbooks.com/
  • I believe children should be told from day one that they are adopted, in an age-appropriate manner of course, so that it simply becomes a part of their normal identity- like eye color. Some people are big, some people are hairy, and some people are adopted. There's no reason to wait and then one day traumatize him/her with The Talk.


    image nikkibs:
    Jamie Lee Curtis, who adopted 2 children, has written some amazing books about adoption and children/parenting in general. I find her books inspiring and educational for all: http://www.jamieleecurtisbooks.com/

    I was JUST going to suggest Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born- great book! A Mother For Choco also comes to mind.

    IMG_0512_zpsed7c1a63-1_zpsc1dbda7c photo IMG_0512_zpsed7c1a63-1_zpsc1dbda7c.jpg
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