Adoptive parents may be wondering how to tell their child they were born from incest. Talking to your child about their difficult history can be stressful. While this can be a difficult process, there are ways in which you can support your child. 

Statistics About Incest Adoptions

Research indicate that between 6% and 26% of children who are placed for adoption were conceived through incest. Incest refers to close relatives having sexual relationships. Incest is illegal in nearly every state with the exception of New Jersey and Rhode Island. The consequences for this crime vary from state-to-state. World Population Review provides an overview of each state’s regulations.

How to Talk to Your Child About Their Adoption

Before you begin to talk to your child about their adoption, it is important to ensure that you know everything about their birth parents. Additionally, adoptive parents should not conceal any information regarding their child’s difficult history.

Talk to Your Child in Stages

Adoption counselors and therapists recommend to start talking to your child early on and in stages based on their ability to understand and engage. There is no specific age that is recommended because this varies for each child. 

For example, parents can explain to their that they grew in their birth mother’s belly. As your child grows up, you can start to provide additional information regarding their birth and their adoption. Experts recommend sharing this information with your child before they reach adolescence. If you wait, the effects can be traumatizing for the child.

Support Your Child Along The Way

You can support your child by expressing emotional attunement and empathy and be open to answering all of their questions. 

For adoptive parents, counselors, therapists and support groups are available to you to help you navigate through this process with your child. The links below provide resources for adoptive parents seeking advice and counseling.