February 23rd, 2011
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Stork & BabyNow that Bunny has turned six, I am anticipating the question all parents dread…where do babies come from?  Six years ago when Elle was getting ready to ask the question, I did my homework.  Rather than write an elaborate answer with technical terms and diagrams, I did the smart thing.  I bought a book with a lot of colored pictures…age appropriate pictures, of course.

Actually, I bought three books, each containing the basic information with cute cartoon characters dressed up as sperm and eggs, and each geared towards a different age range.  I felt it would be easier to hand Elle a book, let her read it, then let her ask me any question she wanted.  My plan has worked well.  At 12, Elle understands where babies come from and all that goes along with it.  But, she also knows she is adopted.


Telling my children where babies come from has an additional layer of complexity added in.  When I talk about babies coming from Mommy’s tummy, the distinction will need to be made that they came from a Mommy’s tummy, just not mine.

We decided early to be honest with our children regarding their adoptions.  As early as possible we’ve talked about Russia and Guatemala, and how they were delivered by airplanes, not obstetricians.  I’ve always had the philosophy that if the girls were old enough to ask the question, then they were old enough to be given an answer.

I once asked Elle what she would feel like if we had never told her the truth about her adoption and she found out about it as a teenager, or an adult.  She was thoughtful for a moment then she said she would be very angry.  She knows that a parent/child relationship is built on trust, if we would have lied to her about the very basics of where she came from, she couldn’t trust us any more.  If we would have lied about that, then what else would we have lied about?

It is every adoptive parents right to tell, or not tell, their children who they are and where they came from.  As more and more people are adopting, both domestically and internationally, it is not the taboo subject it was decades ago.  When you tell your children they are adopted, along with where babies come from, there will be difficult and uncomfortable questions asked.  Age appropriate honesty has always worked best for me.

And if you are really lucky…there will be colorful, illustrated books to help.

3 Responses to “Where Do Babies Come From?”

  1. willandmarla says:

    I was adopted, not internationally, but locally 50 years ago. I have never met my birth parents but have always wanted to thank them for giving me to a family that took great care of me. They loved me as much as any natural born child. What my parents always told me (and I’ve always known I was adopted) was that I was so special that my parents got to pick me. I am not an accident. I was made for my parents.
    I truly believe all adopted children should know how special they are in the family. Their parents, for whatever reasons, chose adoption rather than abortion or leaving the child in a dumpster, waiting to die.
    Children base everything on trust and if your child can’t trust you, you have already lost them.
    So if you are adopted, like me, thank God for sending parents to pick you out special. And also be thankful for those who could not raise you as their own.
    I hope one day, to be able to tell my birth parents “Thank you” for letting my parents adopt me.

  2. Lanita M says:

    You are so right! I adopted my 12 year old from Russia and I was single at the time, but eventually married. When she was a little older she used to say, “Mommy came to Russia special to pick me out. Then we went to New York special to pick out Daddy.”

    Out of the mouths of babes.

  3. admin says:

    That is the cutest thing ever!! I just love that :)

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