When Should I Tell My Child They’re Adopted?

Research conducted in the 1970s showed that most parents, at the time, chose never to reveal their children’s adoptive origins. Those who did tended to wait until their child reached adolescence or adulthood. Some experts advocated for waiting until an adopted person was old enough to understand the concept of adoption and its implications. A Guardian Angel Adoption has seen how much pain and hurt this belief has caused many adult adoptees.

More recent studies have shown that disclosure of a child’s adoption, even after the age of 3, could have negative consequences on an adoptee’s future life satisfaction and mental health. 

Adoptees who grew up with no distinct memory of learning their adoptive roots reported less distress and a higher level of life satisfaction. Adoptees “who consciously recalled the revelation and their age at discovery (aged 3 and older) reported comparatively higher levels of distress that increased with later ages of discovery.”

We understand that adoptive parents want what’s best for their little ones. Because of this, from the day a child is placed, we encourage conversations about adoption in the home. There are many ways parents can begin the conversation when children are young. Maybe it starts by hanging pictures of their child’s Birth Mother in their rooms. Some families talk about “tummy parents” until children understand the concept of birth. Books are also great resources that can explain adoption to young children.

A Guardian Angel educates families on the importance of love and respect for the women who made them parents. Birth parents’ names are spoken of often, and with reverence in an adopted child’s home. They are prayed for daily. As adoptive mothers ourselves, we can tell you that there are not many things more powerful than hearing a tiny three year old call down the powers of Heaven to watch over the first woman to ever love him.

A child should always know they were born into this world with extraordinary amounts of love surrounding them. This knowledge will give them the strength and courage needed as they uncover the many layers of adoption and face life’s challenges.

Every child needs to have an honest understanding of their origin. A Guardian Angel Adoption believes a child’s first parents should be celebrated at home. We love and honor birth parents. If you are a birth parent considering adoption, reach out to us for questions about the process.