January 21st, 2008
Posted By:
Categories: Birthdays

When I was going through the home study process, my social worker told me to read several books about adoption. One of these books talked about birthdays being a sad time for adopted children. According to the author, for children placed for adoption as a newborn, a child’s birthday is also the day that his birthmother “abandoned” him. The author said to keep an eye out for bad behavior around a child’s birthday because this could indicate that a child is struggling with adoption issues. The child might not want to celebrate the day that he was taken from his birthfamily.

I did not know whether to believe this or not. Birthdays are generally happy times for kids, especially when they know that they will be receiving a lot of presents. However, this thought is always in the back of my mind when my son’s birthday rolls around. If he ever does have issues that are triggered by his birthday, I want to be in tune with those issues.


So far, I have not seen any changes in my son’s demeanor around his birthday other than sheer excitement over turning a year older. Perhaps he will have issues when he gets older, or perhaps he is just not one of the kids who thinks about their birthdays in that manner. My son is very much an “in the moment” kid and does not get introspective very often.

It seems to me that saying all kids will do anything in a certain way or at a certain time is an overgeneralization. Yes, I can believe that some adopted children might very well have an issue around their birthdays. However, to assume that all adopted children will have an issue seems a bit too all encompassing to me. I can understand an older adopted child having issues around a birthday, especially if the child was removed from her birthfamily around her birthday or had painful birthdays while in foster care. However, extending this concern to a child who was adopted as a newborn seems a little bit of a stretch. Nevertheless, this thought does run through my head every year when my son’s birthday rolls around.

What has your experience been? Does your adopted child have adoption issues surrounding his birthday?

Related Topics:

Birthdays category

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

2 Responses to “Adopted Children, Birthdays, and Bad Behavior”

  1. lpiperno says:

    Hi Faith.
    This is a very interesting post about adopted children and their birthdays. I am a transracially adopted girl from Colombia when I was 6months old and now live with an American family. I am going to be turning 18 in two days and can’t help but wondering about my birthparents. I think our teen years are the most difficult for adoptees to face. Being an adolescent is hard enough as it is and to add adoption into the picture makes it even harder. I have to ponder your statement, “However, extending this concern to a child who was adopted as a newborn seems a little bit of a stretch.” I fit into this scenario and my upcoming birthday has only lead to me locking myself in my room and sobbing into my pillow as millions of thoughts run through my head. Does my birth mom think about me on my birthday? What does she feel? What kinds of emotions is she feeling? Does she cry? Does she smile knowing what she did was the right thing? Does she wonder about what I’m thinking about? I believe that my tears insue because I don’t have the answers to these questions. So many questions go unanswered in an adopted child’s life that they feel so incomplete because they can’t truly find out who they are. I’m a happy person, but I do suffer when my birthday roles around. I was adopted as an infant, but so many answers to my questions lay hidden. In conclusion, the teen years are the hardest and birthdays are a critical time where most teens think about their adoption and want answers that most cant get.

  2. Most of the time it has been seen that adopted children suffer from bad behavior and loneliness problems. If adopted kids don’t get proper attention, care and fostering environment they become disobedient and under pressure. It affects their mind, behavior and emotions and makes them aggressive and irresponsible. Adoptive families should always keep in mind that struggling children have special needs and want special care. Nurturing environment, extended care and proper support provided by parents help teenagers in improving their behavior, character and attitude. Christian counseling programs are also very helpful in diminishing poor thoughts and conduct problems and inspire disobedient youths to high reverence for parents and elders.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.