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10 Questions to Ask Yourself If You're Considering Adoption

How would I feel if my child wanted to learn about his or her background?

At some point -- often in the teen years -- your child may want to know more about his or her birth parents. This isn't always the case; some adult adoptees have never felt compelled to learn their histories. And it doesn't necessarily mean that your child wants to meet them, either; he or she may just want to know what they look like or get more information. But it's best to be prepared. If you had an open adoption and have continued contact with the birth parents, it may not be very difficult for you to help your child learn more about his or her background. If you had a closed adoption, there may be very limited information about the birth parents. In either case, you may need to contact the adoption agency, attorneys or other intermediaries that you used for the adoption.

Many parents who adopt internationally or transracially choose to incorporate aspects of their children's native culture into their lives from an early age to help them understand their background. For some children, this may be enough. If your child does voice a desire to find his or her birth parents, you may want to encourage waiting until adulthood. While the media often depicts happy meetings, it doesn't always go that way. Sometimes, birth parents don't want to be found, and your child could be in for disappointment. All you can do is be supportive and respect your child's feelings, and realize that wanting to learn more about his or her origins doesn't mean that your child doesn't consider you the "real" parent.