For this reason, parents must continue to bring up the topic whenever it seems appropriate. By being alert to cues that a child is dealing with an adoption issue, parents can bring the subject out into the open. For example, after strolling through the mall with their child, parents who adopted a child locally might say: "Do you ever wonder if you're walking past birth relatives without even knowing it?" When a child shows a particular aptitude or ability, a parent could say: "I wonder if your birth father was tall like you and a good basketball player -- have you ever thought about that?"
This is a good time to take advantage of contact with the birth parents, which may be possible through direct contact or by way of the adoption facilitator. By contacting the birth parents, children can get information and an answer to the important question of why they were placed for adoption from the most credible source.
Parents should not get caught up in always providing their child with the answers to her questions. There is value in discovering truth on one's own. By helping a child work through questions herself or allowing her to write directly to the birth parents, yet remaining available to correct misconceptions or faulty reasoning, parents can serve their child better than they could even by handing her a file folder thick with information about her origins.
Find out about what to say at these times in your child's life:
This article is based on material in the book Making Sense of Adoption and is reprinted with permission.