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.
Image Credit: Lisa S (all rights reserved)