The Rights of Adopted Children
When it comes to adopted children it seems fairly obvious to me that they have a right to know they have been adopted right from the beginning. It also seems obvious that grown adopted children should have the right to meet and know their biological parents if they wish, and that their right to that should take precedence over the biological mother's "right to privacy". After all, "what is best for the child" is supposed to be the aim of mothers when they're deciding what to do nor not do.
There are some rights, though, that adopted children should have that are often forgotten:
The right to be wanted is one that is often the reason children are placed for adoption.
The right to know that being adopted doesn't have to mean being different from the other kids is one right on which many people need to do some work. The right to feel "like everyone else" is a right some people think cannot be bestowed on adopted people. I don't believe feeling like everyone else is impossible for adopted children when adults present things correctly.
The right to understand the very dramatic ways in which nurturing in the first three years of life can affect a child's personality and brain development is one right many people forget that adopted children should have.
The right to be viewed by other people as no different from anyone else is a right that requires some work on the part of people who can have trouble "getting past it" once they learn someone has been adopted.
The right to the very normal thing of having one mother and one father at one time throughout the formative years is a right that shouldn't be forgotten.
The right of the youngest of adopted children to being shielded from some ugly realities that may exist around the birth circumstances, and the right to having any such ugly realities put in a perspective that helps the child, once he's old enough, to understand better should not be overlooked.
The right to have the fact of his being adopted forgotten by people like adoptive relatives, teachers, neighbors and friends' parents is a right many adopted children don't have.
The right to be told how so many people who were not adopted children may know very little about their grandparents or other family members beyond their immediate family.
The right to be referred to by people outside their family (adoptive family) as "their son" and not "their adopted son".
The right to having parents point out any ways they see in which he happens to be similar to them in personality, abilities, or even - although its coincidence - any physical characteristics. I'm not suggesting parents of children who are very different in appearance must stretch the truth about physical traits. I'm saying that when any similar traits do exist adopted children can enjoy hearing the same kind of comparisons that biological children do. Nobody needs to bring up the genetic realities. Adopted children should just have the right to hear what non-adopted kids hear.
The right not to have the fact that they're adopted be the main focus of their life and existence, and this leads to the right to be a person in their own right
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Talking with Children about their Adoption
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