When we think of the family we already have in mind a type scheme: mother, father and child. But, in reality, we know very well that there is a diversity of families: with one child, several children, one parent, etc. But let's not forget about the families that have adopted a child or those who want to adopt. And these families also have their own story and, in addition, their specific issues related to adoption.
Adoptions are not all the same. Newborns, preschoolers or children older than 6 years may be adopted. Children can remember biological parents or not, depending on the age at which they were adopted and how this was accomplished (from the orphanage, or from a family giving up the child - for example).
Regardless of the history of each adoption, the problem the parent faces is whether to tell the child about it and then - when and how ...
In fact, it has been observed that it is preferable to communicate the origin of the child, and in addition, the faster this is achieved, the better for both the child and the parents.
Relationships based on sincerity are healthier emotionally, less dangerous than those that hide a secret. A child can sense the truth at some point, and then begin to have doubts about its origin, when it may happen to hear a dialogue between parents or relatives, or when at school children talk about resembling their parents. In order to avoid a shocking discovery that can irreversibly destroy family relationships, it is better to tell the truth.
If the child was adopted immediately after birth or shortly after, one can talk to the child from then on. A mother can relate to the child with a warm voice, affectionate "his story" telling him how much he loves him and how much he wanted it. The child perceives everything on an unconscious level, but especially perceives the attention and affection that the mother transmits when telling the story. Of course, it should not be repeated every day, it would be preferable only from time to time, but especially when the mother is relaxed and happy to transmit the same condition to the baby. Then, starting with the age of 3, you can talk about the right time to communicate with the child on this topic. Don't bombard him with information, explain to him at first that he was in the womb with another mother, she is the one who gave birth to him, and then, because they - the parents wanted him very much, they took him to grow. Give this gesture a positive value so that the child can enjoy the status he has. Give gradual information, in the form of short explanations, without making real speeches on this topic, but each time reassure the child of your love and the fact that everything is fine.
After the age of 4, children begin to ask questions about their birth, about their origin. During this period the birth and adoption are confused in their mind and the questions arise which they want to clarify their notions.
C: How did I appear?
A: You grew up in another woman's tummy and then you came into our family.
C: But, then, is that woman not my mother?
A: Yes. But she's another mother. She is the one who brought you into the world. Some children have a mom while others have two.
C: But then who is my real mother?
A: Who cares about you? Who sleeps in the evening? Who tells you stories? Who do you call when you wake up at night? Who do you think is your real mother?
However, avoid using the phrase "your true mother"! You can induce him the idea that adoptive parents are not true parents. You can use the expression "your first mom" or "mom-tummy".
I have given you just a few examples of questions that your child can ask you. It is important to be prepared to respond without anxiety at all. As their capacity for understanding grows and increases, children will be concerned about their status and will continue to question you on this topic. But parents need to show that the family is made up of caring people who love their children, raise them and communicate with them. Thus, children will have a sense of stability and confidence, being prepared to face life.
Diana Paula Stoian,
Specialist in Child Psychology