Adopted children often feel like a second choice of the adoptive parents who could not have a child, and hence, resorted to adoption as a last option.
Adoption has worked for centuries, and will continue to work in the future. However, dealing with an adopted child may become difficult at times. This is because, we as human beings, tend to say certain things spontaneously, but these spontaneous words may not be appropriate in certain situations. As a result, conflicts may arise, which sometimes end up in broken relationships.
Being an adoptive parent, you cannot afford to be spontaneous in what you say, as it may have a devastating effect not only on the child’s mind, but also on the entire family. Understand that an adopted child does not sit the entire day contemplating about his adoption. Although it is a fact of his life, it is not the only important thing to talk about. Hence, it is better to avoid bringing up some sensitive topics while having a conversation with the child.
Please Note: To maintain the consistency of the article, the child has been referred to as a male.
What Not to Say to an Adopted Child
► You’re Special (because you are adopted)
Ideally, an adopted child should be treated as a normal child, in the sense that he should never be given different (special) treatment than others. Also, saying that he is special and unique may not be appreciated by the child, because he wants to be like other children and should always be treated as one amongst them.
► You Are Lucky
What is so lucky about being an adopted kid? Is the child lucky because his parents gave him up? Is he lucky because he does not have any clue about his biological parents, and if he will ever find them? These are the things one must think about before calling an adopted kid, lucky. Actually it’s the parents who feel they are lucky because they have adopted a kid, not to give him an opportunity for a better life, but because they are able to make a family like others.
► You Don’t Look Like Your Family (are you adopted?)
It is really the height of insensitivity to ask a child this question. The child may be already going through mental stress, and making such a statement will only aggravate the emotional distress. Moreover, the child’s past is his own story, which need not be shared with everyone, and hence, one should not focus on such unimportant things.
► Your Mother Loved You So Much; Hence, She Gave You Away.
This is the most confusing statement for the child. If you give a second thought to this statement, you will also realize its vagueness. And when you, as an adult, cannot understand the meaning of this statement, then how will that little one comprehend and respond to it?
Moreover, the child’s innocent mind will think that his mother loved him a lot, and hence, gave him away. Now, his adoptive mother also loves him, so will she too give him away?
Other things that you should never mention in front of an adopted kid include:
➼ You shouldn’t be angry or sad.
➼ It does not matter.
➼ You should be grateful to your adoptive parents.
➼ Forget your past, and get on with life.
➼ Why do you need to find your parents?
➼ You were chosen.
For adoptive parents, it is important to decide whether you want your child to know about his past or not. If you decide to tell him his past, learn the correct way to do that, and if you don’t want to reveal the truth to him, avoid saying a few things which may shatter his life. Also, never use the word ‘real’ for addressing the child’s biological parents, because there is nothing like real and unreal when it comes to parenting.