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The Adopted Child in Illinois — Telling Children They Were Adopted

By Leslie Fineberg on June 12, 2013

Chicago Family LawIn the U.S., each year at least 120,000 children are adopted. Special needs adoptions have increased the number. Children with developmental, physical, or emotional handicaps are not considered unadoptable any more. Adoptions benefit children by allowing them to have the chance to mature within permanent loving families, not be moved from one foster home or institution to another.

According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), Illinois parents are concerned whether or not to tell children they are adopted. If so, when is the appropriate time, at what age, and how is it best to tell them? Their concern is that they do not want their children to have to face challenges or difficulties once they know they are adopted.

According to the AACAP, whether they are told at a young age or when they are older, children should learn about their adoption, and they should learn about it from their adoptive parents. When children find out from someone other than their adoptive parents that they were adopted, either intentionally or accidentally, they might begin to view their adoption as something to be ashamed of because it was kept secret from them. Hearing about their adoption from the adoptive parents relays the positive message that adoption is good and nothing to be ashamed of. Being told by the adoptive parents also establishes trust.

Children naturally are prone to worry. Many excellent books are available to help adoptive parents deal with children’s responses and feelings. They may feel like they were not wanted by their biological parents, for example, because they were somehow bad.

At the Chicago firm of Nottage and Ward, our experienced family law attorneys have handled hundreds of adoption cases of multiple types. Our attorneys understand Illinois adoption law and can guide you through what can be a complicated process. Call us today at (312) 332-2915 for answers to all your adoption questions.

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