The Child Welfare Information Gateway is a storehouse of useful information for adoption professionals and adoptive parents alike. Having that said, we thought we’d share a few suggestions from them on how to best honor your adopted child’s birth parents and birth family members:
- Take the initiative by talking about birth families: “I bet your birth mother is thinking about you today.”
- Speak kindly of people in your child’s past. Children identify with their birth parents even if they have no contact with them or memory of them. As your child matures, he or she can understand more about his or her birth parents’ weaknesses – the child will not need you to point these out.
- Resist the temptation to make up information or put a better spin on your child’s history. Highlight the positive with out denying the reality.
- Offer an alternate viewpoint if your child criticizes his or her birth parents (“Your mom was a victim herself” or “Your dad was too young to make good judgments”). Your child’s attachment to you is strengthened by your show of respect for the family he or she came from.