How to Explain Adoption to Your Children

How to Explain Adoption to Your Children

 

 

Women who have chosen to pursue adoption but already have children at home often wonder how to explain adoption to their children.

 

How do you tell your children you are placing their brother or sister for adoption? Will they understand? Will they be sad or angry?

 

If possible, begin explaining adoption to your children while you are pregnant. 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.

 

Some ideas to help you with explaining adoption to your child are:

 

Watch 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 Meet the Robinsons, The Land Before Time, Annie, Little Stuart, Despicable Me, and Angels in the Outfield. There are countless other adoption-related movies, so search online and find one that you feel is appropriate for your child’s age.

 

Read 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.

 

Involve 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 them in meetings with the adoptive parent(s).

 

Allow 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 the upcoming adoption, 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.

Adoption Minnesota is on the Documentary 9 Months by Courtney Cox

Adoption MN has been a part of a documentary that is currently being presented on Facebook Live. This opportunity came to us through local birth parents who had already committed to the production of Nine Months by Courtney Cox during the beginning of the birth mother’s pregnancy.

 

Nine Months follows several different people around the country who have pregnancy situations that involve surrogacy, infertility struggles, a single parent, cancer during pregnancy, etc., all during their nine months of pregnancy. If you are thinking about placing your baby for adoption this may be a helpful documentary to show how the process goes for birth parents.

 

The story that Adoption MN is involved in is the only adoption situation. It follows the birth parents’ pregnancy, adoption choice, how they chose a family, the hospital experience and afterwards.

 

You can watch Nine months by either clicking on the link below or logging into Facebook and clicking on the “watch” tab, then searching for Nine months by Courtney Cox.Several of us have watched the episodes shown so far, and we feel that, for the most part, they have been positive and give a sense of what the “real life” process of planning an adoptive placement looks like. However, we do see how edited the story is and not everything shown is completely accurate.

 

Overall, the show portrays quite a variety of pregnancy related issues, struggles and the desire for and joy of becoming parents. We encourage you to view this series.

https://www.facebook.com/9monthswithcourteneycox

 

Adoption is About Creating a Plan Not “Giving Up”

If you are just beginning to look into adoption as a birth parent, adoptive parent or adoptee you may hear or read the term “give up”. While this is a common term used by modern society and the media it is actually not the preferred term. It does not positively and realistically speak about the adoption process. It tends to present an outdated version of the process.

 

Birth mothers are not “giving up” their babies. They are doing quite the opposite. They are creating very detailed plans for their children and making sure they are given the very best. It is a very tough decision made from their love and strength for their child. Using the words “give up” makes it seem like it’s a quick decision where a woman gives up her child without any thought or plan.

 

Thankfully women are no longer told that they must hand over or give up there babies without ever hearing from them again, never getting to know how they are doing or telling them how much they are loved.

 

Adoption truly has changed through the decades. Women are now able to create their adoptions to fit their needs. They get to plan how they want things to go. In many adoptions today women create their adoption plans and get to have on going contact with their children through pictures, updates and sometimes visits.

 

Adoption Minnesota and other adoption professionals advocate and prefer to use terms such as “place your baby for adoption,” or “create an adoption plan,” rather than “give up your baby.” We feel that it better reflects the work that goes into finding the right adoptive family and the birth mother’s strength, courage and love for her child.

 

If you want to talk about adoption, the process of have any questions please feel free to call us at 612-333-0593 or email us at info@adoptionmn.com.

Commonly Asked Questions by Women Thinking About Placing for Adoption

Commonly asked Questions by Women Thinking About Placing for Adoption

At Adoption Minnesota, we do independent adoptions. Adoptive parents and birth parents plan their own adoption. There are no rules or policies that must be followed, so every adoption is unique. It is up to the birth and adoptive parents to decide how they want their adoptions to go. Birth parents are also guaranteed that only the family they choose can adopt the child.

1. Do I get to choose a family to adopt my baby?

Yes. You are able to choose the family you would like to place your child with. You can either choose one of the many families that Adoption Minnesota is working with, or if you know of someone who you would like to place with we can help you work with them too.

2. Can I get to know the adoptive family?

Absolutely. Many birth parents find it important to get to know the family before they chose them, and even more afterwards. We want you to feel comfortable with the family before you move forward with them. Many adoptive parents are open to having contact through phone, email and in-person visits.

3. What process do adoptive parents have to go through?

All Adoptive parents must go through an extensive process called a home study, before being approved to adopt a child. They must provide the agency with recent medical exams, financial information and complete a criminal background check among many other things.

4. Does my baby have to go into foster care after it is born?

No. Typically the baby goes home directly from the hospital with the adoptive parents. However, if the birth parent is uncomfortable with that, or is having a hard time deciding what to do, someone else can do short term care for the baby until the birth parent makes a decision on how they want to move forward.

5. Can I have a relationship with my child after placement?

In most cases birth parents and adoptive families can have openness and a relationship after placement. Birth parents and adoptive parents can make an agreement about exchanging future information. This can include having updates and pictures sent to them or even visits. It also includes arrangements for exchanging any future medical information, which might be important for the adopted child or birth parent.

6. Does the birth father have to be involved?

No. While it is a good idea to involve the birth father if he is at all willing, it is not required in Minnesota unless he is married to the birth mother, living with the birth mother, or is on the baby’s birth certificate. If he does nothing to take legal action to have himself declared the father of the child, his rights are automatically terminated a certain number of days after the child’s birth.

7. How long do I have to change my mind after placing for adoption?

You can change your mind about placing your baby until your written consent becomes final. In Minnesota the earliest a birth parent can sign a consent is 72 hours after the baby is born, and you must sign within 60 days from birth. You have 10 working days from the date you sign the consent before it becomes irrevocable and final.

8. How much will adoption cost me?

Adoption Minnesota does not charge the birth parents anything for the services provided to them. We are here to help you through this process and create a plan for your child. In many cases the birth parents legal fees are also paid for.

9. Can I get help with my expenses?

In Minnesota an adoptive family can help the birth mother by paying certain expenses for her. Generally the courts will allow them to pay for such things as maternity clothing, living expenses, and transportation to and from medical appointments. They can also pay for the birth mother’s legal fees, medical bills and any counseling she wants to help her cope through the adoption.

10. Will I have support after the placement?

Not only will you be supported throughout your placement, your counselor can offer you ongoing adoption support as long as needed. There are also adoption support groups, retreats and other birth parents who have gone through this process who are willing to talk and meet with you if desired. We are here for you.

 

If you have any questions feel free to call us at 612-333-0593 or email us at info@adoptionmn.com