Adoption - Right time to reveal the truth

Discussion in 'Black Parenting' started by islander, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. islander

    islander Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I currently don't have any children and have a strong doubt that I will in the near future. Adoption is something I've always considered regardless of whether I have children or not. I was thinking about it more and more recently and I was wondering:

    If, for example, I were to adopt an infant and raise him/her as my own, when do you think the best time would be to reveal to the child that they aren't your flesh and blood? Do you do it when they're in their teens or earlier? Or, do you wait until they're 18 and let them know then? Either way, I know that it can be a touchy situation. If anyone has input on this, please fill a sister in.
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have some friends who have adopted children, and in many cases they revealed the truth from the beginning. I believe this approach is less harmful for the child, because there is no feeling of deception (which occurs when adopted parents wait too long to reveal to a child that they aren't the biological parents). Of course I would imagine that as long as a child is loved, in the end it won't matter.
     
  3. islander

    islander Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    So if you adopt a child from infancy, would you say early as in age 5 or a little earlier or later than that? I'd think that you'd want the child to be old enough to understand what's going on.
     
  4. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes Islander I'm sorry I neglected to mention that...as soon as the child is old enough to understand such concepts. I would say around 5 or 6! Just one question though...why don't you believe you'll have a child of your own? My wife also thinks about adoption even though we already have a daughter the old fashioned way! :grin: She just loves children...and is a little scared to experience pregnancy again. Even my mother considered adoption between my eldest brother & the 2nd born. In her case also because she feared pregnancy again. Does fear of pregnancy contribute to this desire?
     
  5. islander

    islander Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well, I'm very old fashioned and I fully believe in having children when I'm married. Currently I'm going to school and working full-time and I don't have much time in-between to focus on a relationship. I'd really like to complete my schooling before I begin a family, but I sometimes fear that because of my career goals that I'll be in my late 30's before I reproduce or even get married. Yes, the fear of pregnancy does also play into the desire for adoption because I was pregnant once while I was married. I was very excited about the pregnancy but ended up having a miscarriage late in my 1st trimester. The fetus died in my stomach so the doctors had to induce labor in order to remove it from my body. That was such a physically and emotionally painful experience that I'm fearful of it happening again. I don't know if I'll be able to deal with another miscarriage again, emotionally more than physically.
     
  6. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I'm sorry to hear about your previous miscarriage Islander. That is both a painful experience mentally & physically...so I can understand your apprehension to get pregnant again. However if I can offer you some comfort, it is believed that most women have miscarriages at some point in time. Also miscarriage's usually occur when their is a serious birth defect in a fetus (which would threaten its life/happiness if born). However almost all women who miscarriage eventually have healthy children anyway. Also today women have children well into their 30s & 40s.
     
  7. toylin

    toylin Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I've always thought that the only time an adoption should be keep quiet is when there is some reason to keep it quiet (rape, incest). I always said that if I adopted children, it would be an open adoption. They should always know who their biological parents are. Over the years, we've heard so many stories of people adopting children, and then their biological parents fight to get them back. I'm not sure of a delicate way to tell a child that you're not their "real" parents. Usually, a person hears that, and the first thing that comes to mind is "You lied to me!" The second thought is often "Well why didn't my real parents want me?" I guess if I ever adopted, not only would the child know from the beginning, I would encourage the biological parents to particpate in the child's life. Also, I would say be careful with explaining things to young children. Being open with a young child can still backfire, in such a way that if they've "always known" that you're not their "real" parents, they'll begin to feel like they do not really belong. I met this girl back in high school who was adopted. She's always known that she was adopted... when her "mother" got pregnant with her first "real" child, she began to feel like they didn't need her anymore because they would finally have a child of their own. (She eventually solved her problems with them, and now she's the bestest big sister in the whole wide world.. at least that's what her brothers tell her! LOL.)
     
  8. islander

    islander Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for the info and your sentiments Panafrica. I know that it's just a mental thing. I just need to get over the fear. If the right person comes along and it's the right time, I'll be nervous about it, but my desire for a child is much too great to let fear get in the way of me doing it. I think I'll always consider adoption anyway. I may not get an infant though for fear of what Toylin said. I was thinking about the possible rebellion in their teen years because of what they know about their history. Plus, if I were adopted, I'd always want to know who my real parents were and find out why I ended up in the foster care system. There are so many things to consider, but if I were to adopt I most likely would get a younger child. Thank you Toylin and Panafrica for your responses. Your opinions and points are well taken.
     
  9. toylin

    toylin Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Well, I'm not saying DON'T get an infant; I'm saying really, really think about it first. If you're going to adopt, you have to be prepared to answer some tough questions. Go to the library or local bookstore. They should have some books on adopting and the pors and cons of it. Good luck!
     
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