Step-parent adoption; How do I tell my 3 year old son?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2003
Step-parent adoption; How do I tell my 3 year old son?
Mon, 11-15-2010 - 11:00am

Hi everyone!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2008

While we have not officially adopted our two fostersons we are hoping to do that early next year.

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2007

We finalized our adoption of sibling brothers in July. They came to us via fostercare when they were 2 yrs old and 3 1/2 weeks old. The baby is now 19 mos and his older brother is 3.5.

As Danae said, you'd be surprised how much he may not "care". We changed our childrens names for their safety. Our older son always called us mom and dad from day 1. (even though for months they saw their bios at visits). We too are not hiding anything from them being adopted. When they are older and it is more appropriate, we will help them find bio (ifi they want to) and tell them how they came into our family.

As long as your DH loves him and is his daddy, much else won't matter at this age. IMO there really isn't much to tell your son right now. In his mind your DH is daddy and thats just fine!!

I have an aquaitence that had a daughter to a "dead beat" and her DH adopted her when she was older. Her ONLY concern was that she wanted the same last name as her dad and mom.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-14-2003

I think it is very important that your son learn this information now, before it becomes something you have to sit him down and tell him like it's a huge bomb.

Avatar for troynkel
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003

I think it's great that you plan to put together a book about DS adoption.

UVA 2010 siggie

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2011

I know my situation is a bit different than most of the others on here. In my family, I am the step-parent who adopted my husband's daughter. Here is a short version of our story. My husband and I met when our daughter was 4 months old. We have had her full time since she was about 6 months old. Her bio mother basically didn't want anything to do with her and has only seen her a handful of times her entire life (she is now 6 years old). We got married when she was 3 years old, her bio mother signed over her rights, and I adopted her a few months later. I am the only mother she has ever known. I have always wanted her to know from a young age that I was not the one who gave birth to her because I have seen what can happen when a person finds out later in life that they were adopted. Last year, she made the comment, "Mommy, when I was a baby, I was in your belly," but it was more of a question, like she was waiting for me to confirm it for her. We ended up having a talk that she came from another lady's belly, but God wanted us together, so he brought her and Daddy to me. A few months after that we were talking about babies and she said, "remember I came from another lady's belly?" and was totally ok with it, so I was glad that months after we talked about it, she still remembered, because it was really hard for me to have to tell her that. Well, I recently had my first biological child, her brother, and today we were talking about when I was pregnant, and she said, "Who was in your belly?" and I said, "Your brother." She said, "No, I was first, then him." My heart broke all over again because I realize now that she doesn't remember what we talked about last year and I will have to tell her all over again. I am afraid it will hurt her this time, now that she has a brother from "my belly" because she was adamant when she corrected me that she was in there first. I love the idea of the book, but do you think it would still work since I can't put pictures of the bio mom while she was pregnant with her? I do have ultrasound and "birth day" pictures, but this really freaks me out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2007

Hi Ladies! I'm coming from the side of the adopted child dad adopted me after he married my mom. She and my bdad split when I was 2-ish, then she met my dad when I was 3, they married when I was 4, and he adopted me when I was in kindergarten.

Jemma (35) and DH, (37). Married October 13, 2007 and TTCing since April 2008. Dealing with PCOS, swollen tubes, and also MFI. Committing myself to getting healthy and losing weight in preparation for IVF later in 2012.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2014

I can only hope this finds you even though this has been years since you've posted this. You and I seem to have ALOT in common. I am also an adopted child. Who has adopted my husbands daughter whom I have raised since she was 3 months the old. She is now over 4 years old and of course thinks I'm her mother and always has thought this. It breaks my heart because I don't want to lie to her but her situation is so different. I was placed for adoption out of love, because my biological mother wanted to give me a chance at a better life. My parents have raised me from only 2 days old, and I always knew I was adopted. It's hard for me to think how to tell my daughter because her mother did not want the adoption to take place but her rights were revoked. Her biogical mother fought for her, but lost because it was not in the best interest of my daughter. We never wanted to take her from her biological mother but she was severely neglected while in her care, and her mother had a lot of mental health disorders, and is an adeduct with drugs and alchohal. For years we tried to help her get better with help from the courts and she basically choose that life over her child. My daughter hasent seen her biological mother since she was about 18 months old and she is now over the age of 4. She has no recollection of her at all.  It's a hard place to be in, because I am adopted and I want my daughter to grow up knowing the truth but her story is much darker than mine. I also have a son who is my biological child and he's about 22 months old and she has made comments about how he was in my belly. And has asked why I gave her the freckles on her face. I hope you read this and comment back id love to talk with you and see how it has been through the years with your situation.