On Telling My Son He’s Adopted

Xavier and me crawlingI’ve told the world that my son is adopted. But now that the legal aspect of bringing him into our family grows more distant, I don’t think about the adoption anymore. He’s my son, end of story.

Except it isn’t the end. Our son has to know he’s adopted too.

Getting out that truth can be a struggle for some parents. And I certainly understand the difficulty, especially as a child gets older. You don’t know what to say. You feel you’ve waited too long. You think the news will irrevocably hurt them. My wife and I have two key parts to sharing the news with our son.

  1. Make sure it’s smothered in love. Here is the narrative: His birth mother loved him. She wanted us to take care of him. We wanted him more than anything and love love love him.
  2. Make it a part of our lives. We have an ‘Adoption Book’ ready for him. It’s a monthly log of his first year with us, and includes pictures of him in the hospital, all of us with the judge who finalized the adoption, as well as his milestones.

That's the plan, anyway, and I'm certain we will stick to it. There's no way we would keep it a secret from him. We've heard horror stories about the adult who discovers the truth at a funeral or some other family gathering. Hopefully our son will still feel secure and know he’s loved. There are always bumps in raising a child, but hopefully sharing with him that he's adopted won't be one of them.

How did you explain to your child he or she was adopted?

Image via Angela Johnson Meadows

adoption