If you have adopted a child, it is better to reveal the truth to your kid as early as possible. A new study has said that adopted kids experience greater distress if they are told after the age of three that they are adopted.
Published in the Journal of Family Issues, the study titled Delaying Adoption Disclosure: A Survey of Late Discovery concluded that people who received the news of their adoption as young adults or adults have less satisfaction than those who found out as young children.
An adult woman, who was part of the study, talked about how she felt post-disclosure and said, “Realising that you don’t know who you are is life-changing. Every relationship in my life changed at that moment. I am much more guarded in every aspect now. Finding out that everyone knew and I didn’t is probably the single most traumatic event in my life.” She found out she was adopted at the age of 49.
The adolescents who found out about being adopted reported the most distress while those who found out at the age of 19 or older were able to cope better by taking steps like connecting with the birth family or seeking support from close relationships.
The most maladaptive source of coping identified among the people studied was masking or suppressing emotions. One of the adults, who discovered about being adopted at the age of 18, said, “The least beneficial thing that I did in coping with this information was the degree of rebelliousness that I took. I began stealing from my adoptive parents out of anger, outrage, betrayal, and an overwhelming sense of loss [of myself and my life].”