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Adoption and Child Separation at the Border

On June 1, 2018 Rebekah Henson published an important thread on Twitter critiquing the hashtags #FamiliesBelongTogether and #Ke...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Whose Story Is It Anyway?

Thankfully we are past the era of 'matching' children to adoptive parents who might bear some physical resemblance's. We've established the importance for adoptees to be told that they are adopted as young as possible. However, from my recent speaking engagements around the country I've learned that adoptive parents seem to have hit a roadblock around the dilemma of what to share with their child about their own story, and when. Many parents ask me; "What is the right age for me to tell my child their story?"

Adoptive parents are often in the privileged position of working directly with social workers to learn facts about their child's early life experiences before the child even knows the details. Parents can choose to keep this information hidden away in a wooden chest, in a filing cabinet, let the information take up prime real-estate in their brain or find another place where the adoptee may not know to look. Storing the information away and waiting until they turn that magical age of 7, 14 or 23 may seem like wise parenting. In fact, I routinely hear the parents cite that they are trying to do what's "in the best interest of the child." Although your parenting motives may be pure and your intentions swell, please know that it is never in the best interest of the child to omit facts or hide the truth. Perhaps chronological or emotional age may have less to do with their capabilities than you assume.