Introducing a child to his birth parents is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. Consider the pros and cons before setting this meeting up because it's not always in the child's best interests to take the step. An older child can make this decision for himself, but younger children will rely on their adoptive parents to make the right decision for their overall development.
Sense of Identity
As an adopted child ages, he could have questions about this biological identity. That does not make his adoptive parents any less important, but biology is important when trying to develop a fuller understanding of himself. Learning the family's history allows him to learn about his ethnicity and culture.
An adopted child will have many questions about herself, including why she looks and acts the way she does. While many of her mannerisms come from her environment, she might not be able to easily explain some mannerisms. Meeting her birth parents can help her to answer those questions so she can move forward with her life. Genetic questions are also important, according to licensed marriage and family therapist Stephen J. Betchen, writing at PsychologyToday.com. It's especially important when it comes to diseases and illnesses that are prevalent in the birth family.
Conflict Between Parents
Issue can arise if the birth parents have too much of an influence over the child, especially if he is able to spend time with his birth parents unsupervised. For example, an adoptive parent might have a set of rules for the child to follow, such as no television after dinner. If his birth parents ignore these rules and allow the child to do whatever he pleases, it undermines the adoptive parent's authority. This can lead to conflict between the two sets of parents, which could cause unneeded stress for the child.
A biological parent could have a destructive personality, which can cause anxiety for the child. If the birth parent has problems with drugs and alcohol, it can create an unwanted negative influence in the child's life. In these cases, adoptive parents are encouraged to wait until the child is old enough to deal with these issues. This is especially true for children who are easily impressionable, as they might fear that they could grow up with the same problems as their birth parents, according to an article at FamilyEducation.com.
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