How to Tell the Child You’re Raising About the Child You Placed

I spent years worrying about what to say to my future kids about the child I placed for adoption.

Andee Otuafi May 25, 2016
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If you’re anything like me, learning what to say to your future children about the child you placed for adoption can be intimidating and nerve-wracking. After placement, I began wondering what exactly I would say to the future kids I’d be raising when the subject finally came up.

Because I am in a very open adoption, there was no way to avoid the subject, especially because I would never want Avery (the child I placed) to think that I was ashamed of her or my decision. In my mind, I was sure it was going to be a serious conversation. One in which I would have to sit my child down and explain my decision in great detail, while expressing how difficult it was for me, in order to help her understand just how important it was that she not end up in the same position.

I had all kinds of ideas in my head about just exactly what I would say and how serious the conversation would become. These ideas changed a few weeks ago, when my 5-year-old began asking some of the questions I’d been anticipating. It wasn’t until that moment that I realized just how ridiculous I had been acting for the last 7 years. This was not something that I needed to make into a huge deal. In fact, making it into a huge deal would most likely create more drama and unnecessary feelings for both me and my daughter in the future.

As my daughter’s questions became more specific, I realized that there was absolutely no reason to throw every single detail at her all at once. She’s only 5, for heaven’s sake! Instead, I’ve realized I can give her information slowly and appropriately according her age and her questions. It’s important to take the questions as they come. There’s no reason for me to answer them before she can even fully understand. As she asks, I can answer. For example, my answer to the questions she asked a couple weeks ago ended with me expressing that I carried Avery in my tummy for her mommy, because her mommy’s tummy was broken. This was all the information she needed to move on.

While the choices we’ve made in the past often affect our futures and could even affect our future children, I don’t feel that it they are something we have to stress about. Whether it’s the fact that you’re a birth mom, or something else, you will know what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. After all, you will know your child more than anyone else will because you will be their mother.

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Andee Otuafi

Andee is the birthmother of a little girl whom she placed seven years ago in a very open adoption. She is now married and the mother of two more little girls, ages 2 and 4. She believes that being a mother is her calling in life, and she adores every minute of it! She loves being a part of the adoption community and is an advocate of open adoption. You can contact her through email at

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