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19

My approach is not much different than what I'd suggest for plain vanilla everyday families: Why not supplement the biology part with a discussion of what makes a father a father or the fundamental difference between producing and raising a child? IMHO, every child's education on sex should include these aspects. We want to raise responsible adults, not ...


15

I think that treating adoption like a "special" topic not treated by the same social rules as others may be a bad move. My son knows that if someone asks a question he isn't comfortable with, about anything, he doesn't have to answer it. If he tries it vs. a teacher, it's subject to my judgement when I get a phone call about it, but vs. peers it is 100% ...


10

New Jersey has a Safe Haven Law (as do most states), which allows you to give your baby anonymously to any hospital emergency room or police station within 30 days of birth. You do not even have to take the baby yourself, you can ask a friend, member of the clergy, practically anyone. The baby will be placed in foster or pre-adoptive care. Adoption ...


9

Let each kid decide. I changed my last name when I was ten and my mother remarried. I got to make the decision myself, and I don't think I did the wrong decision. And don't forget to consider the names themselves in the decision. Unusual names have their benefit as you get less mixups, and names should be easy to pronounce in many countries (ie no weird ...


9

First of all, as monsto pointed out, your child being eight means that they have a bit more emotional maturity, and so might be able to understand better. Rainbowkids mentions that life for adopted children is often very different from ours here on the "outside." Life in institutions is often based on submissive/dominance models; therefore, your ...


7

Don't worry about it. That's a really common behavior with foster kids. Here are a few of the many reasons why: Foster kids aren't always sure where they stand with foster families. He may simply have thought it would be taking too much liberty to call you his "real" family. Some foster kids still hold out hope of their birth parents showing up able and ...


7

Firstly, you have done a fantastic thing caring for your granddaughter. I would say use age appropriate responses as near to the truth without making it too much and only when she asks, making sure your granddaughter does not feel blame or responsibility for her mother. At 4, maybe a response could be, "your other mommy is not feeling very well and has to ...


6

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Child Welfare Information Gateway, adopting a stepchild is actually the most common form of adoption. From my understanding, the primary purpose of adopting a stepchild is to sever all legal ties to the absent biological parent. According to this factsheet, after the stepparent adoption occurs, ...


6

Read books by experts in the field to understand the why's behind the behaviors of children adopted out of foster care, which will give you a foundation for finding solutions. Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky is a good one to start with. Find foster adoption mentors and supports. Mine is ...


6

We adopted our middle child and his older and younger sisters are biological. Out of the three, our son craves attention the most, by a factor of five. We were told in our fostering and adoption classes that is fairly typical. He doesn't remember the first year of his life when he didn't live with us, but it still subconsciously affects him. So, sibling ...


6

The first step to adopting is to make the decision that it's what you want to do. No one can really do that.A few things to consider about this first step. Realize that you will be taking another kid into your home. Adoption has it's own joys, and it's own pitfalls, it's different than giving birth to children. Still, it can be a very rewarding thing. ...


5

It's understandable that the situation frustrates you, especially when it's rubbed in by external events like the dance/bowling events you mention. One thought I have about this is that in many situations, you really are in the father role, so it should not matter if you're the actual father or not: In the case of those school events, there's no direct ...


5

In most jurisdictions, foster parents must take a class in which they cover this topic in some depth. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot you can do, other than being aware of the problem, recognizing it as a result of abandonment, and being there for the child. You will be much better at empathizing in that area than most foster parents, and I'm sure ...


5

OK, so I'll try. Also my son is very happy. He has a wonderful life and I feel as if he would do fine, knowing how much he loves his dad and just beginning to really grasp the concept of life. I don't think it would change anything for him, if that makes sense. I do understand this very well. However, all this would be based on a lie. (Omission of a ...


4

One additional suggestion: educate any other adults who will be spending a lot of time with the child, such as relatives, teachers, or respite providers. One of the issues that you see a lot with attachment issues is a highly developed ability to play adults off each other so that the child remains in control. Letting people know up front can help ...


4

I wouldn't rush into anything based on your fear. Parents are almost hardcoded to love their children, so you may feel differently after the birth. If you don't change your feelings maybe someone in your family would be prepared to look after the baby, e.g. grand parents. Would the baby's father be interested in looking after it ?


4

Fortunately for you, your son is 8. That's an age where you can reason and explain things. It's infinitely easier than if they were even 6, because they're still pretty selfish at that age. You didn't say how old the incoming is... that would really help. I would think that an infant or toddler would be easier than a child or kid. If they're teensy, then I ...


4

Adopted children should be treated the same as the rest of the family. I would explain that to them and get their agreement before doing it. It would really help them feel like they joined your family.


3

By adopting a child you are saying that you are taking that child as your own, so you should change the name. Not doing so will segregate the family more and could cause the child to think that they are not a true part of the family.


3

On the first point, unfortunately there isn't a good way to soften the blow ahead of time. Children that age live day to day. You can tell your daughter it's probably temporary, but it won't really hit her until it actually happens. What they told us in our class is that it's better to try to form an attachment even knowing you'll lose it, than to be ...


3

He has a wonderful life and I feel as if he would do fine, knowing how much he loves his dad and just beginning to really grasp the concept of life. I don't think it would change anything for him, if that makes sense. I've been worrying over this for 5 years and really need some answers! I'm very happy for you and your family. Five years is a long time ...


3

Not that I have any experience with that particularly fun topic or research data to back it up, but just from my experience dealing with young kids that would be my 2 cents... I think it's a bit early for the concept to sink in. I don't know at what age this would start to be appropriate and to have significance in his eyes, but I'd say you could probably ...


3

If things have been going as you say then I'd suggest you don't 'tell' her anything - she's 14 and old enough to start having some input into her life so why not ask her? Just summarise the situation between you and her as you see it which is that she has had problems and got into trouble back home etc. but since coming to stay with you see that she is ...


2

Even if he doesn't understand it now, he does still know about it. As he gets older and gains more understanding of how the world works, he'll reinterpret his adoption story bit by bit as more of it starts making sense to him. As long as you keep being open and honest about where he came from, it will never come as a big shock like it does to someone told ...


2

The home study is the part that sounds the scariest, but it's really the most insignificant part of the process. They give you a checklist, just follow it. What we found was that it was a convenient excuse for making sure we were mentally prepared for fostering and adoption. The first time we looked into adoption we realized we weren't ready by the fact ...


2

This question is interesting because from the child's point of view the problem is almost identical to adoption. But that is an advantage, because as others have pointed out, there are mountains of resources for parents wondering how to broach the subject of adoption with their children. I very much agree that you need to separate the 'where do I come from' ...


1

I don't have personal experience as a parent of an adopted child, and I am not an adopted child, but, one of my best friends is adopted, and I feel as though sharing her situation/circumstances will give you the perspective that you are looking for. She was adopted by her parents when she was 4, and does have some memory of her life (with her mother) ...



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