Q. My husband and I have a wonderful 17-year-old girl whom we adopted. We have never told her she was adopted, and my husband feels we need to. But I don’t want to. Should we tell her now or wait until she is older?A psychologist tackles this answer, and gives pretty standard advice, though she avoids directly telling these adoptive parents that they have royally screwed up.
She also encourages talking about the adoption as a "positive event," as a "loving and positive act." I don't disagree, but you also need to create space for your child NOT to feel positive about her adoption. I think one of the hardest things for adopted kids is that everyone around them, including their parents, are telling them what a wonderful thing adoption is, and they might not feel that way. Letting them know that they are free to feel however they want to about their adoption, and that they can have quite mixed feelings, too, is really important, I think.