Adoption and its impact

Adoption is noble

Adoption is one of the many selfless acts of humankind. Parenting an adopted child is not very different from nurturing a biological one. Many parents have their own biological child and yet adopt, to express their love beyond their own biological outcome. Adoptive parents strive for the best for their children, like all parents do; yet there is always that slim chance and incidence of turmoil that all parents have to endure. This may be more at times in case of an adopted child. Many a time parents are more tolerant of the behavior of biological children because they have an awareness of their own traits when they were children. It becomes easier to presume that biological children will outgrow these traits. However in case of adopted children one is unaware of their background and this may sometimes act as a source of stress for the worried parents who want to do their best but lack direction.

Outlook to adoption

While parents have unconditional love for their little ones, deep-rooted views of the relatives, other family members and neighbors may not essentially match. Sometimes unaccepting relatives, friends and neighbors express scorn towards these children and mixed messages can be harmful to the child’s emotional development. If people decide to make an issue of things, children are unable to understand why and they tend to blame themselves for no apparent reason. It is only prudent to take the right steps at the right time in raising the adopted child, to make things as normal as possible for him or her.

Talking about their adoption

Adopted children will want to talk about their adoption and parents should encourage this process. There are excellent children’s storybooks available in bookstores and libraries which can help parents tell the child about being adopted. Children have a variety of responses to the knowledge of their adoption status. The child may deny the adoption or even create fantasies about it. Frequently, adopted children hold on to beliefs that they were given away for being bad or may believe that they were kidnapped. If the parents talk openly about the adoption and present it in a positive manner, these worries are less likely to develop. It is important to know that adopted children:

  • Need discipline and love like all other children, they are no different; they are human too
  • Will not have the same intelligence, demeanor, personality and looks as adoptive parents
  • Should not be ostracized for misbehavior as they have their struggles like other children
  • Are simple human beings just like all children and they deserve the same respect and love
  • May develop behavior problems, aggression, depression on knowing the adoption status
  • Are not to be blamed for their inadequacies. It is not their fault for what happened to them
  • Are like gifts from God, they have been adopted for a reason and that should only be love

Behavior troubles in adopted children

Many reports have revealed elevated incidence of behavior troubles, ADHD, learning disabilities and subtle neurological deficits in adopted children and these are unwanted surprises for the parents. Needless to say, there is a possibility that these children who are put up for adoption may have had parents who could have been from low socio economic strata, poor hygiene conditions, antenatal infections and complications; there are high chances that biological parents who may have been drug users too in several cases. There is one truth: these children are not responsible for their parent’s inadequacies. Even though they may possess genetic deficits, their environment needs enrichment and behavior troubles can always be treated with intervention.

Love conquers all

Parents should deal with behavioral troubles delicately and children should receive professional help if needed. Adopted children should learn of their adoption from the adoptive parents. This helps give the message that adoption is good and that the child can trust the parents. If the child first learns about the adoption intentionally or accidentally from someone other than parents, the child may feel anger and mistrust towards the parents, and may view the adoption as bad or shameful because it was kept secret from them. Here at MNDFRAMES we offer pre-adoption counseling, a structured procedure involving an explanation of the adoption process, the legalities involved, the anticipated problems that may arise, tips on how to raise an adopted child and help in case of emotional turmoil.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should the child be told about the adoptive status?
Children respond bets when they are told at the youngest possible age. It remains the parent’s judgment to decipher when the child can is able to bear the responsibility of accepting the news. Delaying and waiting for the ‘right’ time is a move taken by anxious parents, however delay doesn’t usually help. Five to six years is considered to be appropriate by most experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should tell the child about the adoptive status?
Certainly the adoptive parents should tell their child about the adoption. Getting the news from an outsider may give the child a sense of betrayal from his/her adoptive parents. Children are smart enough to grasp that and they deserve this honesty from their parents or else they are likely to respond negatively.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should the adoptive status of the child typically be revealed?
Storybooks pertaining to adoption help children to understand that adoption is not some bad thing. They express that adoption is a very righteous and beautiful act and that they are loved more than a biological child because they have been very nobly adopted.

Dos and Don’ts

Simple tips to help you do the right thing for your child

  • Give them positive feedback
  • Encourage good behaviors
  • Be patient and optimistic
  • Offer unconditional love
  • Do no over pamper them
  • Spend a lot of time together
  • Allow them to express openly
  • Do not hide anything ever
  • Encourage transparency