If you are a mother considering placing your second child for adoption (or third, fourth, etc.), have you considered how you will explain this decision to your other children? This is a very common concern for many women who already have a child (or children), are pregnant, and considering or pursuing adoption.
If possible, begin explaining adoption to your children while you are pregnant, and be sure to use age-appropriate language. Be honest with them, but don’t tell them more than they need to know. Explain how your baby will always be your son or daughter and your children’s brother or sister, but that the baby will be living with another mommy and daddy who are unable to have children on their own.
Your Adoption Choices of Kansas & Missouri Specialist will help customize a plan specifically tailored toward explaining adoption to your children. She can also help set up adoption support, training, and education for your children, so they better understand the emotions they are feeling and what it’s like to have a brother or sister who is raised in another family.
Here are some other things you are able to do with your children:
Watching Adoption Movies with Your Children
There are many children’s movies that have an adoption theme. Choose movies that are appropriate for your children’s ages, and talk to them about the movie’s adoption theme afterwards. Movies with adoption themes include Hotel for Dogs, The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven and Angels in the Outfield. Read our entire list here:
Adoption Movies on Netflix (thanks to Adoption Choices of Texas)
Reading Adoption Books with Your Children
There are also adoption-themed children’s books that may help prepare your children for the adoption. One such book is Sam’s Sister by Juliet C. Bond. This book explains adoption from the perspective of a young girl whose mother places her younger brother for adoption. Sam’s Sister explains adoption in a positive, reassuring manner for young children to understand. More books:
Adoption Books selected by Adoptees
Adoption Books for Birth Mothers
Adoption Books for Adoptive Parents
Involving Your Children in the Adoption Process
After you have told your children about your adoption plan, it may be beneficial to involve them in the adoption process. If you feel it is appropriate, include your children in the selection of the adoptive family by helping you look through family profiles and video profiles. You may even choose to have your child get to know the adoptive family along with you, either over the phone or in person.
Allowing Your Children to Express Their Emotions
While this is an emotional time for you, remember that your children are also most likely experiencing a wide range of emotions. Encourage your children to express their emotions by having them write letters, draw pictures, or make crafts for their brother or sister. You may also take your children shopping to allow them to pick out a special stuffed animal, blanket or anything else that would be a meaningful gift. These activities will encourage your children to express their emotions during this time and to give their brother or sister a special keepsake.
After you tell your children about your decision, continue to create a safe environment where they are encouraged to share their feelings and where talking about adoption is ok. Remind them that it is normal to feel sad. But also remind them all of the good things that will take place in the baby’s life because of the adoption and that the baby will always be their brother or sister, no matter what.
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