Adoptive parents usually envision a life with their child that is mostly pleasant. While most do expect that issues will creep up sometimes, they might not understand the full scope of what they have to deal with. One thing that they have to consider is how the child handles the adoption.
Some children adjust well to knowing they are adopted. They become thankful that they grew up in a loving family and might be thankful that their birth parents gave them that opportunity. Others are a bit more conflicted about the situation.
Be prepared for questions
Adoptive parents should be prepared to answer their children’s questions. These can come early in life if they know about the adoption. They will sometimes be centered around why their birth parents placed them for adoption or what their parents are like. In the case of an open adoption, some adoptive parents might choose to allow the child to ask the birth family these types of questions.
Sometimes, the questions have to do with why you adopted them. These are often easier to answer since you can speak for yourself. These conversations are a good time to remind the child that they are loved and that you are there to support them even when they are struggling.
Handling identity and self-esteem issues
Some adopted children will have questions about their heritage. As they get older, they realize that this is an important part of their identity. Self-esteem goes along with this, too. A study that was done found that around 54 percent of adopted children think about their adoption at least once per month, and 27 percent think about it at least once per week. This shows that for some children, the adoption is part of their identity.
The self-esteem issue is one that is hard to handle for many. Parents want their children to have a solid self-image, but a child who is adopted may waiver between knowing they are loved because of the adoption and wondering why their parents gave them up. It is hard for them to put the situation together and see both sides of the matter without putting more emphasis on one than the other.
It might help if you remind them that their life is only the way it is because of the birth parents’ selfless act. Try to show them the good that comes with the possible negative of them being placed for adoption. This might be beneficial to everyone.