4 Ways Secrecy In Adoption Hurts Your Child

Secrets can do serious damage to relationships.

Tom Andriola August 11, 2017

Adoption is sensitive on all sides. The children involved for one reason or another did not remain with their biological families. There are differing views as to when and whether children should be told they were adopted. Here are four ways that secrecy in adoption hurts your child.

They Have Intuition
1. They Have Intuition

As human beings, we have intuition. Our brains are processing so many more pieces of information subconsciously than the ones we are aware of consciously. Intuitively, we know when something is amiss. Hiding the truth from your child about being adopted will resonate in some way with them, regardless of how well you think you’re keeping the secret.

It’s a Breach of Trust
2. It’s a Breach of Trust

The last thing a child who has been abandoned by their biological family needs is to discover at some point that the truth has been hidden from them. A child needs bonding, and when it can’t be with a biological parent, it makes it all the more important for his or her adoptive parents to create that bond based on love and trust. It will be devastating for your child to find out there has been a lack of authenticity in the relationship with you if you’re not completely up front from the outset.

Eventually, They’ll Find Out Anyway
3. Eventually, They’ll Find Out Anyway

Truth eventually reveals itself. It may take a year, a decade, or even longer, but your child will eventually find out that he or she was adopted. If you have kept the truth from your child and he or she discovers the reality, it is unlikely you will be able to salvage the relationship. Don’t do it. Be open and honest from the first day your child arrives in your home.

Support Their Search for Their Own Truth
4. Support Their Search for Their Own Truth

Many adoptive parents feel that they have sacrificed so much for their child. They raised their child, and they were there for the good times and the difficult ones. Eventually, when their child wants to search for their own roots, the adoptive parent may feel betrayed. Please know that from the adoptee’s perspective, searching for their truth is not a betrayal. They just want to know where they came from and somehow reconnect with their biological roots. They are not doing it to replace you. They are doing it because they just need to know. The secrecy about their own life is just too much for them to bear. Be supportive as best you can.

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Tom Andriola

Tom Andriola advocates for adoptee rights and shares his personal experiences about being adopted and his successful, independent search for both biological parents. To see more of his writing, visit Tom's Facebook page.


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