Adoption is a different experience for everyone who goes through it. Some people are so young when they are adopted that their adoptive parents and siblings are all they know. Some children are not adopted until they’re older, and some people don’t even find out that they’re adopted until they are adults.
No matter the circumstances surrounding a person’s adoption, there are some things he/she may want you to know to make the process a more fulfilling and emotionally healthy one for everyone involved.
Adoptees don’t want to be looked at as charity cases or unwanted children. They don’t want the details of their adoptions to be discussed as shameful secrets. If you’re an adoptive parent and you encounter a friend or family member who says something insensitive or discriminatory about adoption, adopted children are depending on you to defend them.
Children (and adults) who are adopted also want their adoptive families to know that even if they want to find their biological families, this is not an indication that they don’t love or appreciate their adoptive parents. Adoptees want to feel comfortable talking to their parents about the circumstances surrounding their adoptions, and may want to contact their birth parents immediately or after giving it some thought.
Adopted children also want their new families to understand that they will often struggle with insecurities and issues of self worth. Even if adoptive parents are providing a loving home, adoptees will still wonder why their birth parents gave them up. Being consistent and supportive are necessities when helping adopted children to find their way in the world.
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