There’s no denying that adopting a child brings a great deal of joy and happiness to any family; however, with this enthusiasm sometimes comes some aggravation caused by people making rash decisions and comments. To avoid this, it is good to know that there are some things you should never do to your adopted children, to yourself, or to other adoptive parents.
1. Don’t say that your adopted child is “different.”
Yes, your adopted child may be different from you in some ways whether it be their race, looks, or behavior. Whatever the case may be, there’s no need to draw attention to these differences. The truth is that everyone is unique whether they are adopted or not. So, even when communicating with a complete stranger, always encourage positive adoption language.
2. Don’t act like your adopted children didn’t have parents before you.
When you do this, not only are you ignoring the fact that your child is adopted, you are also not acknowledging the incredibly selfless gift given by your child’s birth parents. It’s not healthy to ignore this since it can only bring damage to everyone involved in the adoption process.
3. Don’t expect gratitude or special treatment because you adopted.
Adoption brings with it everything that a birth brings: the same feelings, fears, and desires are experienced. So don’t think higher of your family just because you adopted. You chose to adopt a child and your child is going to have a wonderful life. You should feel confident in that fact without ever feeling the need to receive any special recognition or acknowledgement.
4. Don’t keep secrets.
Be open from the start about the fact that that your child is adopted — don’t wait to share this information until he or she is older. Study after study has proven that openness in the adoption process is beneficial and healthy for the children involved. If you are afraid to share this information with your child or you’re unsure how to start, there are many ways to ease the process, reading children’s books about adoption, watching family movies and television shows featuring adoption, communicating with other adoptive parents, or seeking counseling.
5. Don’t keep the adoption record from your child.
Adopted children benefit from knowing where they came from, who their birth parents are, and what their adoption story is. Otherwise, they can grow up feeling incomplete or feel the need to start a search for their birth parents. This is just a natural need, so it’s best to tell them what they want to know. Kids usually don’t ask these things at once, so go with the flow when their questions come up.
6. Don’t think of your child as your adopted child.
It is unfair to present your child to someone as your adopted child. This gives the impression that you have not yet accepted him or her as a part of your family. The best thing to do is simply pretend they aren’t adopted.