What Will My Child Know About His or Her Adoption?

When you choose to place your baby for adoption in North Carolina, you know that they will be placed with a family who is loving, supportive and can provide them with a lifetime full of opportunity. However, it’s also likely important to you that your child knows about their adoption story and all the sacrifices that you made to give them their best chance at life.

So, it makes sense for you to ask, “What will my child know about their adoption?”

Whatever your motivation for asking this question, you should know that with the modern standard of open adoptions, it’s expected that adopted children know they’re adopted and understand their adoption story from a very young age.

In the closed adoptions of the 1960s and 1970s, many adoptees didn’t have access to their adoption records — and birth mothers had no way of knowing if their child ever knew about them or their adoption story. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case. At A Child’s Hope, all of our adoptions are either semi-open or open adoptions, meaning that all prospective adoptive parents agree to some kind of communication with birth parents and agree to raise their child with an honest knowledge of their adoption.

Your child will know about their adoption from before they can even remember, with their adoptive parents using story time and books to explain their adoption story from a young age. As your child grows up, their adoptive parents will tell them more details about their adoption (whatever you’re comfortable with them sharing), making sure it’s age-appropriate, honest and positive. An adoptee with a full sense of his or her adoption story can grow up feeling safe and loved, with a positive self-identity of being an adopted child.

As the birth mother of an adopted child, you will always be able to choose what kind of information you want the adoptive family to share with your child as they grow up. Thanks to open adoption, you can discuss this topic before your baby is even born, making sure you and the adoptive parents are comfortable with your agreement. Keep in mind, if you have open adoption communication, you may even be able to tell your child about their adoption story later in life.

If you’re excited about your child knowing about their adoption story, here are some things you can do to ensure they know about you:

  • Decide with your child’s adoptive parents what information they’ll share at what points of your child’s life. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they’ll talk about adoption with your child, especially during the early meetings when you’re first deciding whether they’re the right choice for you.
  • Determine how much contact you want with your child after placement. You may choose to have their adoptive parents tell your child their adoption story, or you may wish to do it yourself through letters, pictures and even in-person meetings as they grow up.
  • Give your child a memento of their adoption when you say goodbye at the hospital. To ensure your child knows certain things about you as they grow up, you may wish to write them a letter or create a keepsake book about you and your adoption journey. Adoptees cherish these things, because they’re a beautiful representation of how much you loved them and why you chose adoption for them.

If you’re worried whether your child will know about their adoption, be reassured — adoption professionals today (including A Child’s Hope) emphasize to prospective adoptive parents the importance of honesty when raising an adopted child. But many adoptive parents are happy to provide this information to their child anyway, as a token of gratitude for the selfless and loving gift you gave them by choosing adoption.

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