Talking About Adoption at Different Ages and Developmental Stages

Adopted children process adoption differently at different ages and developmental stages. How can parents help their children understand the concept of being adopted. Our guest is Debbie Riley, Chief Executive Officer at the Center for Adoption Support and Education and marriage and family therapist with more than 30 years’ experience working with adopted kids and adoptive families.

Hit the Highlights
  • How to talk with a baby or toddler about adoption?
  • What is the goal of talking with babies or toddlers about their adoption?
  • How much do babies and toddlers understand about the concept of adoption?
  • At what age do children begin to notice skin color differences?
  • What is the primary goal when talking with children between the ages of 2 and 6 about their adoption?
  • What are some good ways to initiate this discussion of adoption in the preschool years?
  • Why are lifebooks so important?
  • When should you start talking about the “hard issues” of adoption with your child?
  • Should you tell your elementary aged child about issues such as such as conception by rape, imprisonment, addiction, neglect?
  • How can you prepare children to handle the inevitable questions they will receive from others about their adoption?
  • At what general ages do children really grasp the entirety of what adoption means?
  • Should parents follow their child’s lead when talking about what it means to be adopted?
  • How is grief, anger, or anxiety about adoption expressed in a child?
  • How to talk with your child about her birth father when you don’t know who he is?
  • How to talk about adoption with a child who does not ask questions and shows little interest?
  • How do adolescents understand adoption?
  • What role should parents play in discussion adoption with a teen?
  • Why is adolescence a potentially problematic time for adoptees?
  • How to find a therapist that is competent in the issues of adoption.

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Image Credit: DerrickT