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Quick View. Add to cart. All Products From Fear to Love -e-book. Buy Both and Save. Adoptive parents often tell their child she is special because she was "chosen" or that she was "given up out of love. Some children may feel that being chosen means they must always be the best at everything. This can lead to problems when they start to realize this is not possible. Telling your child she was given up out of love may raise questions about what love is and whether others will give her up too.

Some families use the term "making an adoption plan" instead of "giving up" their child. Don't wait. The longer you wait to talk about adoption with your child, the harder it will be. Any level of openness you can build when your child is young will help encourage her to ask more questions about her adoption as she gets older. Ask for help. If talking with your child about adoption is difficult, talk with your pediatrician. He or she can be a valuable source of support, understanding, and resources. Even if you talk about adoption early and openly, at some point your child may begin to ask questions such as.

Be honest and open. If your child feels that you are not telling the whole story, he may look for answers somewhere else, like from a relative or friend who may not know or may not share accurate information. Show your child that you are willing to talk about the adoption.

How To Parent An Adopted Child

Tell him it's OK to bring it up with you. Avoid responding with your own worries like "Why do you want to know? It should not be discouraged or seen as a threat to you. Also be sure to only answer the questions the child has asked, not what you think he should know. Don't force the issue on your child. Some children are curious from the very beginning. Others may be afraid to bring it up. The best you can do is let your child know it is OK to talk about it.

When your child is ready to know more, he will ask. Other people might ask questions that your child will not be able to answer, from innocent questions like.

Dr. Sue Cornbluth On Parenting Adopted Children

Questions from strangers can be tricky. You do not have to tell everyone your child is adopted. However, if a question comes up about differences in appearance or ethnicity, offer a simple but honest explanation. When you are proud of your child's identity, she too will learn to appreciate her own value.

Be aware that your attitude about adoption will show in your answers. How you respond can set an example as to how your child may choose to answer these questions in the future.

From Fear to Love-Parenting Difficult Adopted Children

Also, let your child know that she does not have to give specific answers to strangers if she does not feel comfortable. It is her choice to share whatever information about her adoption that she chooses. It is fine for children to learn that information about their adoption is theirs to share over time. Parents who adopt children from other countries need to be aware of the special medical needs their child may have. Your pediatrician recommends the following:. Tests for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, tuberculosis, and parasites and nutritional disorders such as lead poisoning, anemia, rickets, and iodine deficiency , even if testing was done in another country before the adoption.

Vision, hearing, and developmental such as language assessments. Adopting an older child can have challenges as well. An older child may bring both positive and negative experiences from his past into your family. He may have lived in a number of foster homes, each affecting him in some way. He may have lived with one or both birth parents for a time. There may be a history of abuse. He may have been separated from siblings. Many factors could have affected your child's life before he came to your home. The following are some suggestions that will help you deal with them:.

Learn as much as you can about your child's background and that of his birth parents. The adoption agency can help you gather as much information as possible. Learning about your child's past may help you be more aware of what lies ahead. Keep a connection to your child's past. It is important that your child feel connected in a positive way to the life he had before coming to your home.

If possible, keep in touch with someone he knew, like a grandparent, relative, friend, or neighbor. Put together a "life book" by collecting mementos and photos of your child's previous home and school and people he was close to. These things will be important to your child over time. Don't be afraid to seek help. Love can work wonders for most children; however, in some cases, love may not be enough. Adoptive parents should understand that an older child with mild or serious problems may need professional help to resolve issues. Don't blame yourself. An older child may rebel against his new family.

This anger is usually because of the child's past experiences. These problems are not your fault. Remind yourself that you are part of the solution as you help your child work out his issues. Most of all, be patient. Talk with your pediatrician. He or she may be able to help or suggest counselors or support groups. While it may be painful for you to think or talk about your child's past, many adopted children get to a point where they want to know where they came from and why they were placed for adoption.

As your child gets older, make sure she knows where to look for information about the adoption.

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It is a good idea to keep copies of your child's adoption papers and share them with her at an appropriate time. She may want to look them over in private or read through them with you, or she may never want to see them at all. But it is important that she have the choice. At some point your child may begin thinking about searching for her birth family.


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Some states have programs available to help adults who were adopted get information about their adoption. Only a few states have open records.

Check with your state government to find out about the laws concerning adoption records. Birth mothers and fathers also may conduct searches to reconnect with a child placed for adoption. Many have gone on to raise other children and may feel a need for information or be very concerned about the well-being of the child they placed for adoption years earlier.