6 Important Reasons to Tell Your Children They Are Adopted

three kids“Good news,” my son said when an Adele song came on and I started car dancing.

His sister nodded solemnly in agreement.

We have “Good News” in our family. In fact, it’s one of my children’s favorite saying.

When their dad, pretends to give a drum roll at the end of what he thinks is a joke, they turn to one another and say “Good news.” No other words are needed.

When I show up to a sporting event in what my daughter refers to as an outfit which looks like, “a poor person getting ready for bed,” their eyes meet in silent solidarity. “Mom’s crazy, but luckily there’s ‘good news’.”

In fact, I’m kind of tired of their “good news” joke. The phrase started several years ago when we were watching, “RV” a 2006 movie starring Robin Williams. Robin plays a father who frequently embarrasses his children. On this particular day he is especially annoying when he drives up in an incredibly ugly RV. Bounding from the gaudy RV, he exuberantly greets his teenage children.

“Good news!” he proclaims.

“We’re adopted,” the teenagers say hopefully as they eye their father.

Hence, my children express their pleasure with being adopted every time anyone in our family or extended family does something embarrassing.

“Good news,” they say indicating the behavior, or grey hair, or wrinkles, or aging spots, or health issue, will not be their genetic inheritance.

I’m okay with their, “Good news.” comments since they suggest acceptance of adoption and our ability to casually communicate about this part of their identity.

Adoption should never be a shameful or taboo subject. When someone asks you if you are going to tell your child whether he or she is adopted, your response should be a resounding, “Yes!” Why would you ever keep that important piece of information to yourself?

Let’s look at this situation. Apparently adoption isn’t a secret to those around you. This person knows and this person isn’t a close enough associate to understand you would never keep such a fact secret. So I’m telling you, the fact isn’t a secret. Why would you not tell your child something everyone else seems to know?

You would never want a child to be caught off guard with this type of surprise.

Telling your children they are adopted means:

  • You recognize that your future could include birth parents and other relatives. This might be a positive or negative experience which you will have to deal with.
  • You can celebrate the adoption date. (Always an excuse to go out to dinner at our house.)
  • You can have open discussions about why his parents placed him.
  • You can express gratitude for the sacrifice these people made for you.
  • You can answer questions your children may have and they will grow up recognizing they can come to you.
  • You can laugh together about the “Good news.” (Unless, of course, the good news involves my dancing. I don’t think it’s so bad.)