Actually, I am sure how we got there -- my rule on every subject (except, Santa, so shoot me!) is that I answer ALL questions age-appropriately but truthfully. We were talking about some friends who quite tragically lost their two-week-old daughter, and Zoe wanted to know if they were going to have more kids. I explained that they first wanted to figure out why Addy died, whether their DNA had something to do with the defect in her heart. If it did, they may explore other ways of having more children. And there we are with adoption and assisted reproduction and sperm banks! (Oh, and somewhere in this discussion we also touched on birth control pills and condoms, oh my!)
This post at Adoption Under One Roof, Talking With Your Adopted Child About Procreation, reminded me of how talking about birth parents, and really getting what adoption was, brought on the sex talk with Zoe. This is what I wrote about the birds-and-bees talk with Zoe (who was 6) after we returned from visiting her orphanage and finding spot:
OK, I knew that going back to Guangxi meant there would be tons of questions from Zoe especially – about her birthparents, about her finding place, about the orphanage, about adoption. And sure enough we’ve had those (last night she asked if she was buried in the ground at her finding place, and I was able to reassure her that she was just on top of the ground. Thank goodness she asked – who knew she was worrying about that). But I didn’t expect it to spur the where-do-babies-come-from talk!At age 10, Zoe has asked enough questions to have a sort-of picture of procreation, not a full picture. But I was a little surprised to find out that one of her 10-year-old friends has NO IDEA AT ALL -- or at least her parent hasn't told her a thing about sex. At Adoption Under One Roof, Lisa advises:
I’m not even sure how it happened – we were talking about how she might have gotten to her finding place and she suddenly asked, “How do babies get in the birthmother’s tummy?” And my answer, “They grow there,” just wasn’t going to cut it this time!
Yet another child-rearing moment when I wanted to say, “Wait a minute – let me do a little research on how best to explain it to you. Can you wait a few weeks?!” But they never can wait, can they? So we had to do the whole seed-egg, insert Tab A into Slot B thing. . . .
Ideally it is the parents who provide sex education to their children. But if your child doesn’t ask you questions she is probably getting her education elsewhere, such as from a friend. This being far from ideal, take the initiative by having discussions with your child.
How old were your children when they started asking about the birds and the bees? Which came first, their understanding of adoption or their understanding of where babies come from? Does one require knowledge of the other? Share your favorite birds-and-bees moments with your kids!