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  #1  
May 6th, 2008, 03:21 PM
short_n_swt's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Is it a child's right to know all along that they are adopted? Or is there an age frame when they should be told?
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  #2  
May 6th, 2008, 03:34 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I think that is is up to the parents when and if they tell them. Since I have never had an adopted child I dont know the answer or if there a correct answer. My SIL has 2 and my other SIL has one. Both of them elected to tell them as soon as they were able to understand.
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  #3  
May 6th, 2008, 03:55 PM
eash's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Yes, the children have a right to know and should be told from day 1.
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  #4  
May 6th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I know my neices and nephew always knew. I would be interested to hear from any adopted ladies here if we have any. Did you know, when did you know. and have you ever felt the need to find your bio parents?
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  #5  
May 6th, 2008, 04:48 PM
SugarNSpice's Avatar VBAC Mommy!!!
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I think they have a right to know and the adoptive parents should always be honest with them if they ask questions about where they came from.
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  #6  
May 6th, 2008, 05:19 PM
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I am adopted. I believe children have every right to know. I can't imagine going my whole life and find out my parents lied to me. The day will come when they find out. When they go to get a marriage license or a passport. They will have to get a birth certificate and that will not say the adopted parents birthed them.
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  #7  
May 6th, 2008, 06:00 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
I am adopted. I believe children have every right to know. I can't imagine going my whole life and find out my parents lied to me. The day will come when they find out. When they go to get a marriage license or a passport. They will have to get a birth certificate and that will not say the adopted parents birthed them.[/b]
I thought that when your were adopted your birth parents names were taken off and you were issued a new birth certificate?
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  #8  
May 6th, 2008, 06:37 PM
quietsong's Avatar Just Another Slacker Mom
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Location: Missouri
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My birth certificate has my adoptive parents on it. The identity of my birth parents was not disclosed until I turned 18, at which point I could seek it out if I chose to.

I do think it's the right thing for adopted children to be told once they are old enough to understand. This is just as much because they will probably find out as it is their right; there were many instances growing up where, had I not known, I would have questioned. Also, it is very important because the child needs to be aware for medical reasons - knowing that their family's medical history is not theirs.

When to tell has no hard and fast answer. I do think earlier is better, as it reduces any bitterness at not being told, but only the family can judge the right age. I wouldn't tell a toddler, though, unless it was an open adoption and they needed to know as they were meeting their birth mom; IMO, waiting until 4 pr 5 when the child can really understand (at least the basic concept) would be best.
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  #9  
May 6th, 2008, 07:00 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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Mine has my birth parents on it. Your's has your adopted mother listed as your birth mother? I have adoption records that tell my adopted mom and dad's name, but my official birth certificate has my birth mom and dad.
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  #10  
May 6th, 2008, 07:03 PM
SusieQ2's Avatar Jersey Girl
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I most definitely think that adopted children have the right to know that they were adopted. I think age appropriate details should be given. When we were looking into adopting a child I thought about this often. There are a lot of great books out there for kids of all ages. That's a great way to help introduce the idea without overwhelming the child.
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  #11  
May 6th, 2008, 07:07 PM
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So I went and looked it up and apparently, they do make a new birth certificate. I am not sure I agree with that. Maybe mine is different because I was older and it was a family adoption(my aunt adopted me). I have had a relationship with my bio mom from day 1 and still do.

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  #12  
May 6th, 2008, 08:26 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
So I went and looked it up and apparently, they do make a new birth certificate. I am not sure I agree with that. Maybe mine is different because I was older and it was a family adoption(my aunt adopted me). I have had a relationship with my bio mom from day 1 and still do.[/b]
That might be the case because it was family. I wonder if in open adoption the birth parents names are on it. I know in the case ob both my sister in laws their names were on the birth cert. as parents.

I do agree the child has a right to know and of it were me I would do it as soon as I felt they were old enough to understand.
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  #13  
May 6th, 2008, 08:53 PM
Spud'sMom
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I am adopted and I have always known. I was 4 months old when the state of Wisconsin took me from my biological mother's custody and 14 months old when I left a series of foster homes and was legally adopted. My birth certificate was amended, but my parents had medical background information and my bio mother's name.

It wasn't a constant discussion, but I always remember my mother talking about it to other adults. Most of her friends were parents who decided to adopt, and my brother is also adopted (not biologically related to me). DH and I are planning on adopting down the road, and I would never consider not telling my child(ren). My brother and I rarely felt any different from our peers, with the exception of general appearance. My parents are both 5'4'' and we are just shy of 6'.
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  #14  
May 7th, 2008, 02:11 AM
acupofjoe's Avatar Proud mama of three!
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i think it really depends on the situation.
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  #15  
May 7th, 2008, 07:02 AM
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I am adopted. My brother is too. We are not related other than by name. My parents' names are on my birth certificate. Under "father" it has my dad's name and under "mother" it has my mom's name. It doesn't say "birth mother". It just says "mother".

I was adopted when I was 7 weeks old. Until my parents got me I was with the Catholic adoption agency. Not sure if it was an "orphanage" or what. That was in 72.

I've always known. I don't remember a time that I wasn't aware that I am adopted. We made it a special day at our home and celebrated it like we would our birthdays. I always felt priviledged and "different" in a good way for being adopted. It was cool. We still get messages from our parents on the day of our adoption. We call it our "special day". So they'll call and say "happy special day!".

I say, tell the children. They have every right to know.
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  #16  
May 7th, 2008, 07:06 AM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
I am adopted. My brother is too. We are not related other than by name. My parents' names are on my birth certificate. Under "father" it has my dad's name and under "mother" it has my mom's name. It doesn't say "birth mother". It just says "mother".

I was adopted when I was 7 weeks old. Until my parents got me I was with the Catholic adoption agency. Not sure if it was an "orphanage" or what. That was in 72.

I've always known. I don't remember a time that I wasn't aware that I am adopted. We made it a special day at our home and celebrated it like we would our birthdays. I always felt priviledged and "different" in a good way for being adopted. It was cool. We still get messages from our parents on the day of our adoption. We call it our "special day". So they'll call and say "happy special day!".

I say, tell the children. They have every right to know.[/b]
Thats truly wonderful how your parents gave you 2 special days.
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  #17  
May 7th, 2008, 07:27 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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I do think that a child should know if they are adopted. Ideally, they should be told from a very young age. That is the best. However, if for some reason the adoptive parents DON'T tell them at a young age, I think that they should avoid telling the child during the teenage years. Teenagers already have enough problems even if their lives are "perfect," and springing this information on them at that point seems cruel. I hear of so many cases of parents picking the moment of the greatest mayhem and angst to tell their child that they are adopted, or that their "father" isn't really their father or whatever and I think that is so wrong. Either tell them early or wait until they are an adult.
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  #18  
May 7th, 2008, 07:39 AM
eash's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Posts: 1,969
We are currently adopting and there is a lot of research surrounding how and when to tell a child. The current studies say that there should never be a specific day that you are told. So your parents should never sit you down and say "honey, you are adopted." Instead, the parents should incorporate adoption into day to day language and stories. For example, with an infant - you can tell the bedtime stories about how the baby came to live in his current family. Also, life books and journals are a great way to share the adoption journey with the kid. Basically, you never want the subject to be taboo or shameful for the child.
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  #19  
May 7th, 2008, 07:42 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Illinois
Posts: 3,000
Quote:
Quote:
So I went and looked it up and apparently, they do make a new birth certificate. I am not sure I agree with that. Maybe mine is different because I was older and it was a family adoption(my aunt adopted me). I have had a relationship with my bio mom from day 1 and still do.[/b]
That might be the case because it was family. I wonder if in open adoption the birth parents names are on it. I know in the case ob both my sister in laws their names were on the birth cert. as parents.

I do agree the child has a right to know and of it were me I would do it as soon as I felt they were old enough to understand.
[/b]
They do make a new birth certificate. That is the one that is on file at the courthouse. Our adoption is an open adoption and we are the only parents listed on her birth certificate. Her birth mother technically has no legal rights to her at all. But, if I were to dig for it, I am sure I still have a copy of my daughter's birth certificate that has her birth mother on it. I don't believe this is common for most adoptions, but in our case we are friends with the birth family and no agency was involved so we received things an agency might have put a stop to. We even have a copy of her social security card with her BMs last name on it.

To answer the original poster's question, yes, I think children should be told.
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  #20  
May 7th, 2008, 07:43 AM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: keenesburg colo
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Quote:
We are currently adopting and there is a lot of research surrounding how and when to tell a child. The current studies say that there should never be a specific day that you are told. So your parents should never sit you down and say "honey, you are adopted." Instead, the parents should incorporate adoption into day to day language and stories. For example, with an infant - you can tell the bedtime stories about how the baby came to live in his current family. Also, life books and journals are a great way to share the adoption journey with the kid. Basically, you never want the subject to be taboo or shameful for the child.[/b]

That seems like a wonderful way to explain it
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