Explaining step-parent adoption to an 8 year old

Fiona - posted on 12/17/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




My ex has decided to allow my husband to adopt my 8yr old daughter. My husband has been part of her life since she was 6 months old so basically he's already her dad. My ex has and would like to continue playing a small role in my daughter's life. My husband and I have decided to go ahead with the adoption especially since my ex is sooo adamant about it happening and soon. We would like some advice on how to tell my 8yr old daughter about the adoption and how to explain that her dad won't be in her life as much as he is now. Thank you in advance.


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[deleted account]

I know that this isn't really the question you asked but I thought I'd share my experience. My now ex husband adopted my children from their biological father. At the time they were 2 and 6 and their biological father had nothing at all to do with them. If he had been involved with their lives at all I would not have gone forward with this as it would not have been understandable to them. As it turns out the adoption was the biggest mistake I've ever made as a parent. And not just because we are divorced now .... although that intensified the mistake. The anguish it caused my children as they grew older is terrible. They don't understand why they were "abandoned" by their father. As adults, one has now forged forward to have a relationship with her biological father and it is very hard and trying for her to do so. Clearly I don't know all of your circumstances but this was a huge mistake for me and my children and I wish I had never done it.

On another note, I know you love your husband and think that nothing will ever happen, but it might, and then your daughter will have lost two fathers. This is the hardest thing to have to deal with as a parent.

Kathleen - posted on 12/18/2012




I agree with Little Miss Can't Be Wrong. My husband's mother remarried when he was around 10 and his Mom wanted her new husband to adopt my husband. My husband told her no that he did not want to be adopted by her husband. It may be different for your daughter though since your husband has been right there all along but I would definitely ask her what she wants first.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/17/2012




Your daughter is old enough to explain the situation for what it is, and quite frankly and most importantly, ask her what she wants. She may not want to be adopted, or it may be a dream come true for her. But I would take her seriously, and listen to what she tells you SHE wants and what will make her happiest.

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