Blog// LGBT Adoptive Parents

Discussing Adoption with Tweens and Teens

It is always important to prioritize you and your tween or teen’s relationship during a time of many changes physically, mentally, and emotionally. In continuing to value your relationship with them, it will help in healthier communication and ultimately family connections. In knowing what to expect, you can be prepared to handle some challenges that may arise from difficult conversations. In this article, we will go through some things to expect from your tweens and teens as well as some tips to help you effectively have a healthy and productive conversation.

They May Ask Lots of Questions 

As children grow older, they begin to understand the complex dynamics of adoption. They can begin to question why quite a lot. Some examples of this includes: “Why did my birth mother place me for adoption?” and “Why don’t I see my birth mother, father, or siblings?”. 

 

This is a very crucial time where you need to be completely honest and open with your answers to these difficult questions. In giving your tween or teen all the information they request, it will help them maintain their trust and sense of security in the relationship. Fill in details they do not know and avoid any embellishment or reframing. Also acknowledge parts of the story that you do not know so that they do not receive the impression that information is being kept from them. 

 

They May Change Their Views on Adoption 

A result from hard conversations about adoption could be heightened emotions and changing views. As tweens and teens begin to understand what adoption is, they may have feelings of resentment, rejection, or fear. It can be upsetting to find you have another family you have never known in the case of closed adoptions. It can feel like a conflict of identity and a course of confusion for your tween or teen. They may pull away or distance themselves from you as they figure out what these difficult questions and answers mean for them personally.

 

The best approach you can take is to be supportive, loving, and honest throughout their process of adjusting and absorbing this new knowledge. They are not intentionally shutting you out because of actions you have taken. It is vital to place trust in the relationship you have built with your child. 

 

They May Want to Search for Their Birth Parents 

Another action your tween or teen might take, should their adoption relationship be a closed one, is a desire to search for their birth parents. Particularly, this may be the mother. However, curiosity about a birth father can be expected as well. You may feel like they might be too young or it might be too soon to do so. In this case, approach it honestly and establish an age where you believe would be good to begin searching. The search is not a reflection against the adoptive family but instead a personal identity mission and need for information about their own place in the world. 




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