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“What does adoption mean to a child?”

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Explaining Adoption to Your Other Children

Tips to Help Your Children Understand Adoption

If you are considering placing your second child for adoption (or third, fourth, etc.), have you considered how you will explain this decision to your other children?

This is a very common concern for many women considering or pursuing adoption.

If possible, begin explaining adoption to your children while you are pregnant, and be sure to use age-appropriate language. Be honest with them, but don’t tell them more than they need to know.

Explain how your baby will always be your son or daughter and your children’s brother or sister, but that the baby will be living with another mommy and daddy who are unable to have children on their own.

Your Adoption Specialist will help customize a plan specifically tailored toward explaining adoption to your children. She can also help set up adoption support, training and education for your children, so they better understand the emotions they are feeling and what it’s like to have a brother or sister who is raised in another family.

Some things you are able to do in the meantime include:

Watching Adoption Movies with Your Children

There are many children’s movies that have an adoption theme. Choose movies that are appropriate for your children’s ages, and talk to them about the movie’s adoption theme afterwards. Movies with adoption themes include Hotel for Dogs, The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven and Angels in the Outfield. There are countless other adoption-related movies, so search online and find one that you feel is appropriate for your child’s age.

Reading Adoption Books with Your Children

There are also adoption-themed children’s books that may help prepare your children for the adoption. One such book is Sam’s Sister by Juliet C. Bond. This book explains adoption from the perspective of a young girl whose mother places her younger brother for adoption. Sam’s Sister explains adoption in a positive, reassuring manner for young children to understand.

Involving Your Children in the Adoption Process

After you have told your children about your adoption plan, it may be beneficial to involve them in the adoption process. If you feel it is appropriate, include your children in the selection of the adoptive family by helping you look through family print profiles and video profiles. You may even choose to have your child get to know the adoptive family along with you, either over the phone or in person.

Allowing Your Children to Express Their Emotions

While this is an emotional time for you, remember that your children are also most likely experiencing a wide range of emotions. Encourage your children to express their emotions by having them write letters, draw pictures or make crafts for their brother or sister. You may also take your children shopping to allow them to pick out a special stuffed animal, blanket or anything else that would be a meaningful gift. These activities will encourage your children to express their emotions during this time and to give their brother or sister a special keepsake.

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After you tell your children about your decision, continue to create a safe environment where they are encouraged to share their feelings and where talking about adoption is OK.

Remind them that it is normal to feel sad. But also remind them all of the good things that will take place in the baby’s life because of the adoption and that the baby will always be their brother or sister, no matter what.

If you would like more detailed information on giving a second child up for adoption or explaining adoption to your children, or if we can help provide free counseling to your child, contact an Adoption Specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION or click the following to receive free adoption information.

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in now way response for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is American Adoptions the right adoption agency choice for many birth mothers?

American Adoptions is one of the largest licensed adoption agencies in the United States. Each year, we work with thousands of women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer assistance to these women. Our large, caring staff is able to assist you seven days a week and provide you with one-on-one counseling about your pregnancy and available options.

You should choose an adoption agency where you feel completely comfortable with their services and staff. With American Adoptions, you will work with an Adoption Specialist who is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Adoption Specialist will be your advocate and will provide support and guidance as you create an adoption plan that is right for you.

How will the family tell my child about me and the adoption when my child is older?

Each family has their own style of introducing adoption to the child. When you are matched with an adoptive family, you can ask them this question. If you would like your Adoption Specialist to discuss it for you, just let her know. He or she can share your wishes or provide good ideas from other adoptive families.

You will also be able to share what you want your baby to know about you. You can complete a keepsake booklet to share hobbies, stories, photos of you and your family and a letter to your baby. The adoptive family can provide this to your child as he or she grows older. Be as creative as you like! Some birth mothers have even knitted a special blanket as a gift to their baby or given a similar symbol of their love.

The father of your baby can fill out the birth father's keepsake booklet or write a letter too. You may have other family members who would also like to share photos or a letter to the baby. This is your opportunity to pass on your and your family's love and to share your personality, history and reasons for choosing adoption. The adoptive family will treasure whatever information you provide and will share it with the baby at an appropriate age. In most adoptive homes, the word adoption is in the child's vocabulary early on, and adoption is celebrated in their lives.

Additional Resources

Teen Pregnancy - Information for Young Women

While not every woman who chooses adoption is a young mother, many are. Through adoption, many young women have found an ability to give their babies the best life possible, while finding the opportunity to realize their own dreams, as well. Call American Adoptions today at 1-800-ADOPTION.

Read More

Adoption Glossary

Do adoption terms and phrases leave you feeling confused? Learn the meaning to key adoption words and phrases with our comprehensive adoption glossary.

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