Adoptive parents are often anxious about how to talk to their adopted child about his or her adoption story. And if your child was adopted through embryo adoption, the conversation can seem even trickier to navigate. Even if parents have been very intentional to always speak of adoption in a positive light, there’s always a nagging worry about whether they’re talking about adoption too often or too little, if they are sharing too much or too little, and if the things they are saying are all of the “right” things. Following are some tips for making these conversations a little less apprehensive:
• Talk about adoption/donor conception with the child early and often. Even before they are verbal, you can practice telling children their story. That way, when they are old enough to grasp the concept and have questions, you are well-prepared for the conversation.
• Always relay the message that you are open to discussing any questions your child may have. Many adoptees and donor-conceived children have expressed that they don’t ask questions about their origins because they are afraid of upsetting their parents.
• Don’t ignore or speak negatively of the donor parents.
• Acknowledge (and don’t minimize) the loss issues your child might be experiencing that are associated with donor conception and/or adoption.
• Don’t be afraid to seek resources or support, whether through counseling, books, other adoptive parents, support groups, or other means.
• Create a Lifebook and utilize children’s books to help explain the process to your child.
written by Beth Button