Adoption and Adolescent Adoptees

During adolescence, children begin to establish their sense of identity and to assert their independence. Adolescents who are adopted are interested in information about who they are and how they are unique individuals. They observe their parents and siblings to determine how they are alike and different from them. They are interested in details about their birth families, including the physical appearance of their birth parents and their ethnic background.

Teenagers might not be share questions about their origins with their parents and may deny any interest in their birth parents if asked. Teens tend to guard their thoughts about themselves, especially from their parents.

Furthermore, adolescence is so tumultuous that many teenagers look for simple solutions to their problems. Some might think they would feel more content if they had information about their birth parents, while others might not yet realize they have concerns about adoption. Instead they think their life would be perfect if only they had a date for Saturday night, lost 10 pounds or owned a car.

Parents may find it more effective to discuss adoption with an adolescent in an impersonal way, using a hypothetical situation or a character in a movie or book, they may also find their teenager more willing to discuss adoption with other adopted teens, in a support group for example.

Children's interest in adoption ebbs and peaks within developmental stages. During the early part of a new stage, they often have more concerns or questions about adoption since as mental ability changes, allowing them to view adoption differently.

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