What is it like to raise a child who isn’t biologically yours? For couples who have spent years trying to have a child of their own and are now facing the prospect of adoption (either through traditional methods or embryo adoption), they may find themselves wondering if raising a non-biologically related child will be different.  Many couples will need to take time to grieve their opportunity to have a biological child before they will feel ready to adopt. For some people, they may always feel a difference. An article from The Guardian explores how some women feel about their adopted children, particularly when they are raising both bio and non-bio children.

One woman in the article said she thought bonding played an important role in her feelings towards her children, and the lack of bonding time with her adopted child hurt their relationship initially. “You don’t have nine months to prepare, you don’t go through the birth and you don’t breastfeed,” she said. These stages are crucial times of bonding with your baby, and traditional adoption won’t allow you to experience them, but embryo adoption will. For couples who are concerned about their feelings regarding raising an adopted child, the embryo adoption option can offer some reassurance that they will get the same bonding time and experiences with their adopted child as any biological child they had created.

An often overlooked difference between raising a biological child and one that came to your family through adoption is in answering the question “Where did I come from?”. Biological children may get a basic overview of the birds and the bees’ but donor conceived and traditionally adopted children have a little more to their story. For many couples, the temptation would be to tell their child “down the road” when they feel that it is the right time. Studies have indicated that it is best for your relationship with your child to tell them as early and often as possible. There is nothing shameful in the unique and amazing way they came to your family, and hiding that story will only communicate shame. You can watch a recorded webinar that focuses on this important topic for tips on “How do we tell the kids?“.

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