“…whoever welcomes a child like this…. welcomes Me.”
Talking to Kids About a Sibling
A Christian open adoption allows a child to become acquainted with his or her birth parent. The child can ask questions about the past. That child can learn about why the adoption occurred. The adoptee can share hopes and dreams with the birth mother, which has been shown to be healthier for both of them. Adoptive Christian parents love and encourage this relationship, but what are they to do when there are siblings in the picture?
The biological mother may have older children. She might discover that she is pregnant and realize that she is not in a situation that will allow her to care for the new baby in the best possible way. For her, the most loving choice is to find Christian parents who will raise the child with loving support. Should this be the case, the contact agreement can include visits between the adoptive child and the biological siblings. The child will be raised knowing about the siblings, even becoming friends with them.
At some point, this child may ask why the birth mom did not choose adoption for the other children. It is the adoptive parents’ job to both explain and console. They should help the adoptive child to understand that the birth mother’s situation was different when he or she was born. They should tell the child that any child who was born to the biological at that time would have been adopted because she knew she would be unable to care for more children herself. Adoptive parents should also let their child mourn what might have been, even if they know the child has a wonderful life. It is natural for children to be pulled in multiple directions. It is the parents’ job to be there for them and help them through difficult times.
There are also many situations in which the birth mom may have more children after the adoption. This can be confusing and even upsetting to adoptive children. They may wish to get to know their biological siblings. If the birth mom chooses to have those children adopted, it may be possible to set up play dates through the other adoptive parents. If the birth mom chooses to raise the children herself, the adoptee will undoubtedly want to be part of their lives.
Children will always think of their biological siblings and brothers and sisters, even if they don’t share the same parents. This is okay. It is healthy and wise to allow them to have these relationships. They may occasionally voice concerns, but as long as the adoptive parents are there for them, this type of relationship will have a positive outcome.