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When to bring up adoption with your child?

(9 Posts)
TunnelofLove485 Sat 11-Nov-17 09:04:58

Probably more relevant to those who adopted from 0-1 year olds. My child is now 2.5 years old. We have always talked openly about adoption in front of them and never kept anything secret. We haven’t begun explicitly sitting down with them and talking about it. I often show them the first photo of us and say “look! We had just met you there. Don’t we look happy!” And photos around the house of their celebration day but that is probably it!I’ve got several books about it, however we have not been successful in getting them interested in them (they much prefer other books). I worked hard to create a wealth of things in a special box for them (a photo album of birth family and newborn photos in chronological order, a picture album of their first summer with us, birth clothes and the usual things from ss ).
I haven’t got them out yet as was waiting until they understood more. I’m thinking that it might be a good idea to get the birth family pics out now? Put a name to the faces at least? My child’s speech is limited so I think I have been mistaking that for lack of understanding but recently they have been surprising me!
I suppose you could say it is never to young to start but I think I was waiting for them to become interested in babies as a natural way in but that hasn’t happened yet.
Can I ask when you started showing photos? Life story book (I’m thinking that is when they are 4/5 as it is more complicated?)? Would some photos and “you were in her tummy” things be ok for now?

hidinginthenightgarden Sat 11-Nov-17 12:26:19

My DD just turned two and at the moment we just talk about it in general as you do. When we get our story book I intend to read that. I don't think you need to wait until they are older. You can pick and choose which bits to read if you think it is too complicated.

mamoosh Sat 11-Nov-17 13:43:37

My boy is 2 and a half. We talked about adoption as soon as we got him and have a life story book with photos. He must have some kind of awareness as he always skims past the part about past life. He enjoys looking at the photos of himself and his current life. I went to a life story book workshop and it seems this is pretty normal, they will read the more tricky bits when they are ready. The workshop facilitator said that any life story book reading is worthwhile as they are subconsciously processing things. If the show no interest then that’s ok, they will indicate when they are ready.

TunnelofLove485 Sat 11-Nov-17 19:04:26

Thanks both. I think the photo album I made is like a simple life story book with only photos so will start with that.

Pookythebear Sat 11-Nov-17 20:56:53

Dripfeeding from around age 3 for us. Got DS1 at 18 months - he wouldn't have had a clue of what we were talking about until then. Even now at age 5 he doesn't truly understand the concept. We've gone gently, OP. Pretty much as you described, photos when we met. Life story book accessible to him as he wants. He knows he didn't grow in my tummy and he grew in <bm Christian name> tummy, but she couldn't care for him so she wanted a mummy and daddy who could love him lots to care for him instead (he is relinquished). We got DS2 at 2 months and will approach similarly with him. (He too was relinquished).
Personally I feel as long as there is no 'bombshell' as such and it's part of everyday conversation as far as they can remember you can't go too far wrong. I hope!!

dimples76 Sun 12-Nov-17 17:29:23

My son is developmentally delayed so although I have talked about adoption from the outset (18 months at placement) I don't think he has any understanding of it. Since I received the Life Story book from SS we have looked at it every month or two. He likes looking at photos of me and him, Celebration Hearing, FC etc. When he sees BP he can name them but their role in his life is not understood.

I'm guessing it will gradually sink in....

I found talking through the life story book before there was any understanding at all was quite useful for me to practice what to say.

Sunshinelollipopsandheavyrain Sun 12-Nov-17 21:39:42

We do much the same as everyone else. We've always talked openly about it, and have a birth child so they know who did and didn't grow in my tummy. My AC really doesn't understand what being adopted means, but the seeds are sown and regularly watered so hopefully it will just be a case of gradually adding pieces to the puzzle as they grow smile

TunnelofLove485 Sun 12-Nov-17 22:10:21

I showed her pictures of birth parents today. She pointed and repeated their names. Then 2mins later got bored and went off to play! I’m going to get the pics out once a week for now and see how that goes. Might be too often but I will try it and see!

UnderTheNameOfSanders Mon 13-Nov-17 17:45:11

DD2 was 2.5 when placed with big sister. We made her a cut down life story book with 1 picture and 1 sentence on each page, except for 1 page with no pictures and 3 sentences which said why they went in to care. It lasted her well into double figures, she doesn't really engage with the longer book at all, but she has the key information.

We used to drip feed. e.g. stories in the bath. Tigger and Piglet used to live with <birth mum>. but she couldn't keep you safe so ...

Also with pregnant ladies. - look that lady is growing a baby in her tummy. You grew in X's tummy. X was good at growing babies but not good at looking after them which is why we adopted you and I am your Mummy.

That kind of thing. Little and often.

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