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Preparing Your Adopted Child For Information on the Internet

LisaS's picture

By LisaS - Posted on 09 June 2011

I recently read where an 8 year old adopted from Guatemala searched on the internet for “birth moms” and came up with information such as “children stolen” “lies” etc. His adoptive mother wondered how to handle this situation. I would suggest with tactful honesty.

The fact is that our children will be finding a plethora of information on adoption from the internet as soon as they have the interest and the access. Some of this information will be negative and even hateful, some distorted, and some accurate. Parents are wise to be honest with their children about their own adoptions although adoptive parents don’t always have all the information when the adoption is intercountry. Most have very little as a matter of fact. But as more adoptive parents do birthmother searches more information is available. Regardless the information discovered on the internet by the child should be discussed openly.

I think it is normal for a child to want to know as much as possible however 8 years old is very young to be doing searches like that on the internet. However now the mother will do well to answer any questions the child has. How does one explain unethical adoptions to an eight year old? I think that saying that some adoptions were not done according to the law and some poor people were tricked would be a good start. As our children mature, conversations about unethical adoptions on a more sophisticated level will be necessary – sadly it is one of the dark tragedies in the adoption world. Some children will not be interested in hearing about this while others will want details and may have many questions. Perhaps our own integrity as adoptive parents will be put into question by some children. It is probably best for all concerned that we consider our responses ahead of time.

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John's picture

Google is not great. If your kid is normal, he knows how to use the internet. Controling birth family contact, may be a frustrating situation. I am talking about older children from the system, birth parents out of the picture for abuse and neglect.

I had the standard talk with my youngest when he came home, no contact unless I agreed. Sure, and the tooth fairy is real. He would let pieces slip. 'Mom is clean and sober now'. Huh? How could he know that? Grandma on facebook. Each time I would talk about the need to have me in the loop, wasted time. The latest was "Uncle's back in jail." This was clearly contact within the last month. Not good, what they are telling him is unknown to me. No way to shut it off, too many options on the internet.

Disloyal, yes, but now what? This is a problem that I never went through with the other four, facebook wasn't the big thing back then. I have no idea what to do to end this not positve contact, no talking the birth family isn't going to get the job done.

faitha's picture

Hi, John.

I know how you can block contact from a particular computer, but since he can access his Facebook account from just about anywhere, that's going to be hard to stop. :0(

- Faith