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Truth and Adoption

Would You Lie to Your Kid About Adoption?

Many adopted children are raised to believe they are the natural offspring of their parents.

Some moms and pops spring the news on the kids when they feel they are old enough to handle the truth, while others keep the secret for a lifetime.

Often there are outstanding genetic reasons for parents to openly discuss the child's birth parents.

In a rare reverse situation, New York City Fox news anchor Jodi Applegate's mother told her she was adopted when she was actually her birth child. Jodi did not know the truth until her mother passed away.

If you had an adopted child, would you be honest about his or her origin?

Join The Conversation
kiwishe kiwishe 9 years
That's f'd up what happened to Jodi Applegate. Why would someone lie about the truth like that? No wonder she's so self-centered on camera. That's how she seemed to cope.
abqmama abqmama 9 years
My two year old son is adopted and we have talked about it from the very start. He has no idea what it means now but I'm hoping by the time he does understand, it won't be a big deal. I have a biological child who is about 4 years older than my adopted son and he was old enough to realize that his brother didn't grow in mommy's belly like he and his baby brother did. It's not a big deal to him, he and the baby grew in my belly and his other brother grew in auntie's belly. It doesn't make them any different, they are all our sons, they just came from different places. I don't understand how you could keep something like that from your child, the parents who do are going to wind up causing more trauma to their child. Besides, you are probably not the only people who know about it and someone else could let it slip or tell your child just to be cruel and I think that would damage your relationship with your child.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I agree with everyone here that honesty is the best policy in this case. I would not hide the fact that my child was adopted.
phatE phatE 9 years
what is there to hide? i think waiting, and not being open about adoption makes it seem like it's not the best thing when the child finally does know.. hiding = shame, or gives the impression of it not being good.. from what I understand alot of kids who learned later they were adopted remember feeling different from their biological siblings before they realized why.. kids pick up on things, and of course they will be a little different, but i think embracing that, and blending it is better than denying it. adoptive parents love their children as their own, and consider them their own.. i think knowing from day one that their parents chose him, specially picked him out, etc helps the child grow up with that security, instead of it all drastically changing... i am thinking it's not as common as it used to be, from what i have seen and experienced the majority don't chose to hide the information, and more and more people are actually choosing open adoptions.. the children i have been around are well adjusted and not confused... this is long, and of course you don't have to agree or like what i am saying, it's completely my opinion, not a fact, but i just think communication is a better option, and the earlier the better..
Dbtabm Dbtabm 9 years
I think you should be honest with them from the very beginning, in an age appropriate way of course. Even waiting until they're in Kindergarten or 1st grade could be very damaging. I have 2 very close friends who were adopted and they both agree that the kindest thing is make it known from the start.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i'd be talking about it from the beginning. i've not followed the conversations suggested by the books and things super close but it's something like "you grew in another lady's tummy, but in my heart and we're a family", you get the idea. as i mentioned on another post, a boy in my middle daughters class was told in first grade that he was adopted. i'm not sure why they thought they could raise him w/o him knowing since, 1) his birth parents are from mexico and very dark, and his adoptive parents are clearly not (fair skin, hair eyes), and 2) his sister is just a few months behind him (hello, how long does pregnancy take???). anyway, i had been talking to the school counselor about my daughter with autism and her effect on her typically developing siblings and their peers. the counselor said something like "kids don't pay attention to things like adults do, they don't pay attention to the details of the lifes of others". and i said "well kelly got in the car yesterday and announced 'john smith is ADOPTED!!' so i'm not sure that's always true". she was shocked, they (parents and counselor) had apparently thought that they would tell "john" and he would just go on with his day, life, everything, as if nothing much had happened. but there was fall out from the way that was handled for a long time. kids get a sense of themselves and how they relates to the world at an early age. you tell someone "you aren't who you thought you were" and it effects them. adoption should be told from the get go. there's no shame in adoption, infertility, whatever. if you act is if there is you create problems.
karebear25 karebear25 9 years
I think being honest from the very beginning is the best for the child and for the family. Parents can phrase how they decided and picked their child. I was adopted when I was a baby and my parents have always told me that. I guess it also helped that i did not look like them since I am Asian and they are Caucasian. Though when I was little I could not tell that i looked different from them. I thought i was white like them. I don't know hwy but i did. When i hear that parents hold that info from their child I just am so confused and don't understand why. If they (parents) are afraid that the child will want to find and have a relationship with their biological parents then let them and be supportive. Being supportive and helping them will let the child understand your love for them. I mean there is a reason why the child was put up for adoption, right? Maybe you guys can wait until the child turns 18 to do all this research. I strongly fell being honest is the best and the child will respect you more. Who really likes secrets, and especially as BIG as this topic.
Masqueraded_Angel Masqueraded_Angel 9 years
*sigh* This really hits home...because after bouncing from home to home as a kid, I finally landed at my foster mom's when I was 7 years by that time I knew what was happening already. If my son were adopted, then I would tell him if he asked or if it came up in the conversation. Once he became older, I would share information such as medical records, etc. (something I never was able to get...most of my biological family's history is unknown.) Being truthful about adoption is best, but also remember that it doesn't hurt any less to think that your "real" parents must not have wanted you. So it's definitely not something to parade around or flaunt whatsoever. On the other hand, it's nothing to be ashamed of either... I said, this subject really hits home, so I hope I made sense.
jessie jessie 9 years
i picked other...i've never been in that situation, so i can't say...
jenniiag jenniiag 9 years
My parents told me so early that I don't remember a time I didn't know I was adopted. I knew about my biological parents (there was an issue with my biological father signing the paperwork), their back-story, and any other details I wanted to ask about. I never felt weird about it and am glad to tell people. In fact, I regularly complain about not having some of my parents' genes! I can't imagine not telling your child and, to be honest, there seems to be so many adopted kids out here California that there isn't much of a stigma. However, telling your child he or she is adopted when you're the biological parent is a little ... odd.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I think I'd tell the child. I know it'd be a tough situation, and I am not sure how to even bring it up to the child. I've heard of adoptive parents telling their children (when they have problems being teased and such) they were picked therefore wanted while other parents (birth parents) just got stuck with their kids. I don't agree with that. First of all, you should never insinuate that any kid isn't wanted and second that in a way tells your kids that their birth parents didn't want them (and that may be the farthest thing from the truth!!)
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
While I can understand the instinct to protect your child and worrying about him/her growing up feeling "different", I have to think honesty is best. I can't even imagine how it would feel to have something that big sprung on you. I'd have to think that would make trusting and believing in pretty much anything very difficult after a shock like that.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
Definitely think honesty is the best policy in this case. I can imagine its a difficult conversation to have but it would be far worse for the child to find out from someone else IMO.
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
Honesty is best. I think a child who finds out that their adopted through other than or another family member have a harder time accepting it than being told by the parents. My friend adopted a boy from Guatemala when he was two years old and when he was 11 she told him he was adopted. She shows him pictures of his biological parents and other siblings he has in Guatemala. She does plan to take him to Guatemala for his 15th birthday so that he can meet his biological parents and siblings. He took it well and is very grateful for his adoptive parents.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I come from a large family of adopted children. It was never kept a secret, it was never strange for us, and it was never an issue. Other people make an issue out of my adopted siblings, but not us. You should always be honest with your children if they are adopted.
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
I would definitely tell my child from early on and let them know they were able to ask questions about it if the wanted to....I would also let them know they are special and loved just as much as any other child...I too think it would be very cruel to lie to your child about being adopted
kiwitwist kiwitwist 9 years
I would tell that child the truth from day one. The sooner they know, the sooner they can deal with it.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
I think it's best to be honest about it. But I can imagine its difficult to figure how and when to bring up the topic.
jimpolandy jimpolandy 9 years
We adopted a child from Russia over 5 years ago when he was 17 months old and we have been completely honest with him all along. He has absolutely no memories of living in Russia. We have always been age appropriate in our discussions though. I think it would be cruel to lie to your adopted child. I love my child so much that I wouldn't want to lie to him.
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