Growing Up As An Adoptee: What They Want You To Know
Open adoption has changed the platform for adoptees by giving them answers, both about their backgrounds and their birth parents’ background. As an adoptee grows older in age, questions begin to surface and adoptive parents’ primary job shifts to educate their child about their own adoption. The idea of open adoption is a beneficial experience for children to comprehend their adoption stories, while gaining the chance to meet the parents they originated from. Although the roles of a birth mother and adoptive parent look different, they are equally important.
Open adoption is so special and should be celebrated
What adoptees want others to know is that they are grateful for the family they have been given – both adoptive and birth families. In the beginning, when gaining information about their adoption, it can be emotional. Adoption is another avenue of creating a forever family and a home. Juliana Whitney, author of What Growing Up In An Open Adoption Has Taught Me, discusses what open adoption means to her. “It is having the ability to ask your birth parents the questions that adoptees in closed adoptions rarely get answered. It means being able to develop a thorough understanding of how and why you wound up somewhere other than in a home with your biological parents. It’s been an unforgettable experience. (Whitney)”
All adoptees have their own personal feelings towards adoption
Whether these feelings begin with questions such as, “why didn’t my parents keep me?” or curiosity stems about their backgrounds, every child experiences their adoption story differently. As confusion and possible sadness begins to run through the veins of adoptees, the most important concept to remind them of is that there was a never a moment in time they were unwanted or unloved. Reassurance towards these fragile emotions help the process become easier and less overwhelming.
I am adopted or I was adopted?
After the adoptee was given a new beginning, they want you to know they WERE adopted. That title is a part of them but it’s not how adoptees want to be recognized. They have and are creating a life of their own, while understanding the roots they came from. This helps them in defining their own identity.
Final advice from adoptees
- “Answer any questions that your adoptee has. The earlier you tell them about their adoption process, the more time they have to understand it and the more time you have as the parent to help them understand. (Whitney)”
- If an adoptee wants further information about their birth family, don’t take it too personally. This process does not mean the adoptee doesn’t love the family they were given. It’s a route adoptees choose to take to help fill some blanks they could be experiencing emotionally.
- Read about adoption. Not just blogs or books, but do research about adoption. Adopted children are at a higher risk for certain behaviors such as moodiness, stress and uncertainty. It’s important to become familiar with their emotions so an adoptive parent is prepared to take the steps to either prevent them from happening or help their adoptee identify and resolve the issue.