Adoption STAR’s Zack Fried shares some personal reflections on talking to your child about their birth story.
As important as it is to tell our children their adoption story, their birth story is also an integral part of every child’s life. It is a story that should be embraced rather than overlooked. Every birth story is unique, and will forever remain a footprint in our children’s identities.
Much like our children’s adoption stories, their birth stories should be shared from the moment our children are in our arms and in our homes. Some of us may have more information to tell our children about the earliest moments in their life. We may have been in the delivery room as they entered the world, and can share the emotions of that experience with our children. Others of us may not know much about the moment our children were born. In either scenario we can be honest and share the wealth of, or what little information we do have, with our children. They are entitled to this story, as it is theirs; the same way their adoption stories are their own.
There is not one correct way to tell our children their birth story. As parents, instinct will kick in and the right words will naturally come out. Certain aspects of our children’s stories may be most appropriate to share at different developmental stages of their childhood. When it comes to tough situations birth parents may have gone through leading up to giving birth, a young child may not be emotionally ready to hear about them. We will know our children best, and will share this information when we feel the time is right.
As discussed in the Talking About Adoption Home Study Class, the concepts born like everyone else, adoption is forever, the concept of love, and adoption is normal hold true in adoption and birth stories. Adoption STAR has held a workshop entitled Telling Your Child Their Birth Story, which discusses ways to share your child’s birth story along with their adoption story. A panel of adoptive parents provides valuable real life experiences to help those in the audience prepare for the exciting moments when they will share their children’s beautiful stories. Be on the lookout for this workshop on future Adoption STAR calendars!