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When a Child Questions Adoption vs. Biology
June 11, 2018
In the March 2018 issue of Adoptive Families, a reader asked how she could best navigate questions from her adoptive daughter about the depth of her love and how her love might compare to the love she might feel for a biological child. As adoptive children grow, they may have many questions about their adoption, how they relate to their adoptive family, and how they fit in to their environment. In addition, if some of their siblings are their parents' biological children, they may have doubts concerning their parents' love for them.
If your adoptive child is asking these kinds of questions, then that means that they are comfortable with sharing those thoughts with you, which is awesome. Building an open line of communication is they key to bounding over so many hurdles, this one included. Take a moment to be grateful that you and your adoptive child have the type of relationship in which they feel free and open to communicate with you.
To continue the conversation, you could help your child explore their feelings further by asking questions.
- Why do they think your love might be different? In some cases, children might see adoption portrayed negatively on television, or they might face questions from their peers. If you are aware of where their thoughts are coming from, you will be better equipped to discuss them. -What does love mean to them? Depending on the age of the child, they may have very different ideas of what love is. Understanding what they perceive as love could help you to show them love in terms and actions that they understand.
-How do they show love, and what things do you do that shows love to them? This could be especially helpful if you have other children in the family that are biological. Allowing the adoptive child to see that the relationship between you and each of the children, regardless of how they came to be part of the family, could encourage them.
Reassure your child that love is love regardless of whether the connection is biological or not. It might be helpful to discuss other relationships that are in their life that are not biologically related like friendships or the relationship between you and your spouse.