Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

Telling the Truth to Your Adopted or Foster Child: Making Sense of the Past

Synopsis

"Do I have to tell my adopted child the truth?" This is a question that faces every adoptive parent. Filling a much-needed gap in the adoption literature regarding communication with adopted children, Telling the Truth to Your Adopted-Foster Child provides parents with the important knowledge of why adopted children need to know the truth about their past. The authors offer practical guidelines and tools that parents can use in communicating with their children the circumstances of their past. This book presents the developmental stages of how children understand adoption and what needs to be said to a child age appropriately. The authors suggest how to share with children the painful and difficult issues regarding their circumstances, birth family and background. The goal is to provide a gateway into life as emotionally and psychologically healthy adults, with solid foundations for identity and self-esteem.

Excerpt

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free!

What would it be like if you were Laurie? Laurie, now seventeen, was adopted at age three. One afternoon at a family reunion, she sat dumb- founded as her cousin told her what really happened in her past: her birth father killed her birth mother, and he was in prison. The problem was that everyone in the family knew it except Laurie. Why wasn't she told the truth?

What would it be like if you were Sarah? Sarah, age eleven, often drew pictures of the house that she imagined her birth mother lived in. It was a large house, encircled with beautiful trees and flowers. One day she announced to her adoptive parents, "Someday, I am going to visit my birth mother in her big house." The problem with that picture was that Sarah's mother did live in a "big" house: she lived in a prison. She was convicted of drug possession and assault and would be incarcerated for a very long time. Why wasn't Sarah told the truth?

What would it be like if you were Jason? Jason, age eight, knew he was "given up" for adoption, but he didn't know why. The truth was, his birth mother loved him very much, but as a young teen she was unequipped to raise Jason to adulthood. Jason's adoptive parents knew the whole story, but they assumed that the less said, the better--for every-

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