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Transparency in the Adoption Conversation

It’s widely accepted that it’s better to be transparent with your children about their adoption then to hide it and spring it on them later in life. Sometimes it means answering hard questions or negotiating fears, but studies have shown across the board that it’s better for the children and the family as a whole. Your child deserves to understand and communicate about their adoption process, why you chose adoption, and what their adoption means to them. Here are some tips for keeping things as positive and uplifting as possible. 

Be age-appropriate. As your child develops, you’ll want to evolve your approach to your adoption discussions. The depth and detail may change over the years. Honesty is essential, no matter how uncomfortable the topic or the conversation. Withholding vital details or information could have an effect later on, and create feelings of distrust. Your child’s adoption story is an important part of their identity, and it will grow and change as they do. 

Remind your child that adoption is a forever conversation. If you’re wondering what the timeline is for talking to your child about adoption and their own personal journey, the answer is forever. It will always be a part of their lives—as your child develops and grows, so will their mind and sense of curiosity. The adoption journey is a lifetime journey. 

Communicate with your adoption specialist. It’s always a great idea to check in with your adoption specialist prior to having a conversation with your child. Having someone to talk through the conversation with may help you feel more comfortable. You can’t anticipate what kinds of questions your child may have regarding adoption—some will surprise you!— but you can prepare yourself as much as possible so you’re not completely caught off guard.

Your child will not be the only individual in your life with whom you want to talk about adoption. These tips can be deployed when having a conversation with anyone about your adoption journey. It is up to you on how much detail you would like to share, but the more you lean into these types of conversations, the more natural and connected they’ll feel. You care, and that’s what matters. That will speak volumes. 


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