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Question
Posted by: Cocco | 2011/02/22

The right time?

Hi Doc. When is the right time to tell your child they are adopted? As young as possible? Or when they are 18 only advise please.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I don't think there are any fixed rules, and it obviously depends to some extent on the circumstances and your relationship with the child. I don't think there's any advantage in waiting till 18, and would be more likely to deal woith it when the child asks a relevant question, or when otherwise a good opportunity arises. Then the emphasis is on how special it is that they were specially chosen by you out of love for them. Maybe later around 18 a child may become curious again and want to seek out their birth-parent(s), and when this happens and they are teens or adults, there's no point in discouraging them, except to warn that this can be a very disappointing exercise, as well as difficult to accomplish.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Hestia | 2011/02/22

We have an adoptive person in our family. she was told from a very small age. this made it easier I think as she grew up with the idea. And also the rest of the family was not scared all the time of saying something by mistake and she would " find" out something that she should not know yet.

Reply to Hestia
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/02/22

I don't think there are any fixed rules, and it obviously depends to some extent on the circumstances and your relationship with the child. I don't think there's any advantage in waiting till 18, and would be more likely to deal woith it when the child asks a relevant question, or when otherwise a good opportunity arises. Then the emphasis is on how special it is that they were specially chosen by you out of love for them. Maybe later around 18 a child may become curious again and want to seek out their birth-parent(s), and when this happens and they are teens or adults, there's no point in discouraging them, except to warn that this can be a very disappointing exercise, as well as difficult to accomplish.

Reply to cybershrink

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