The decision to tell a child that they should be adopted or not is a huge one. Not everyone is in agreement about how to handle it. However, more of the information out there about it encourages adoptive parents to tell their child about it from a very early age. This is going to be less traumatic than them finding out later in life.
Some adoptive parents hide that information because they don’t want the child to feel left out or unwanted. However, there are ways to take care of this. For example explaining to the child that their natural parents gave them up to provide them with a better home. They can also tell the child that they are special because they were chosen to come live with them.
If you are on that side of the issue you may be interested in learning more about the reasons why a child should be told that they are adopted. There is always the risk that the child will find out on their own. They may be looking at documents around the house or someone in the family may tell them on accident or even to be malicious. It is much better for the child to learn about the adoption from the parents than in such ways. That way they won’t feel it is a huge secret that has been kept from them.
Medical concerns are another reason why a child should be told that they are adopted. They may have a genetic predisposition to certain medical problems. However, if they don’t know they are adopted they may not consider them. The doctor won’t either because on the medical history it can sound like both parents are in excellent health. Should the adoptive parents die without disclosing any information they have, it can be very hard for that child to get their family medical history.
Many children are fine with learning that they are adopted, especially if the parents have told them early on. It doesn’t make them feel that they aren’t a real part of the family. It allows them to be open about it and to ask questions about it. If there are other children in the family it can help them to understand why they may have some different physical characteristics. It also allows the child to grow up understanding the value of being honest with others.
It may be natural for an adopted child to want to find their real parents later in life. This is often a reason why some people choose not to tell them about it. However, their desire to find out about their natural family shouldn’t be viewed as a reflection that they don’t care about their adopted family. There is also the chance that a natural parent will be looking for them and one day contact them. You don’t want that possibility looming over your household all the time either.
While it is the final decision of the adoptive parents to tell a child that they were adopted or not, careful consideration needs to be given to the issue either way. By evaluating the pros and cons of the situation you can do what you feel is right for your child. Should you decide to tell them though try to do so from a very early age. If you wait until they are older it can be more difficult for them to accept.