Tip Sheet Tuesday: Talking to Your Children about Their Birth Parents

Tip Sheet Tuesday: Talking to Your Child about Their Birth ParentsMost children who have been adopted wonder about their birth parents—at least to some extent.

For parents, the challenge comes in knowing when to bring up birth parents and how to answer tough questions. Should you bring it up? Should you wait for your child to come to you?

If you wait for your child to bring it up, it might not happen. They might be afraid of hurting your feelings or they might not know it’s okay to talk about birth families.

While the subject can seem scary, talking about birth parents with your child can actually reinforce the bond you share and strengthen your relationship. Often parents fear that the conversation will lead to their child becoming more interested in the birth parent and less interested in their family. Ultimately, it can be a way for your child to fully understand how they came to be yours.

Be prepared for questions about your child’s birth parents. We’ve all been uncomfortable when we’re caught off guard by sensitive questions. Decide what information you would like to share ahead of time, so you are able to think it through and not simply react to questions.

  • Speak to parents of other children who were adopted. Ask them what questions took them by surprise.
  • Read books. There are great children’s books for all ages that will likely help you. Books are a particularly great resource because they refer to someone else’s story, and it’s a non-threatening chance for both of you to make comments are ask questions.
  • Consider your child’s story. What questions can you anticipate?
  • Practice by having a discussion out loud with a partner or trusted friend who will give you feedback.
  • Be consistent. Your child should hear the same story from both parents. Talk to your partner before hand, so that you give your child a similar message.
  • Continue reading on our website.

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