Telling Children About Adoption How and When

Informing children about their adoption status is of major importance. It eliminates the risk that the child might find out from nonfamily sources, which could jeopardize the adoptee's trust in the parents. Where adoption is a familiar, positively valued household subject even before the child grasps the meaning of the word, concept comprehen sion grows naturally with the child's cognitive development and evokes positive emotions. Even inadvertently portraying adoption as an inferior, last-resort way of building a family devalues the wanted child to a means to an end. Late disclosure, even in adulthood, can seriously affect the adoptee's sense of self and create identity problems.

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