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An adopted child's birthday is important and should be celebrated with cake, presents and the usual birthday accoutrements. A child who is adopted as an older child may be unfamiliar with birthday celebrations, and if he or she appears bewildered, parents should explain what will happen and what the child should do.

Some adoptive parents celebrate both "adoption day"-the day the child arrived in the home-and the child's birthday as well. Experts have mixed views on celebrating two holidays each year. Therapist and adoptive parent Stephanie Siegel, author of Parenting Your Adopted Child, advises against celebrating both days and instead urges concentrating on the child's birthday.

She says that "adoption is a memorable occasion and should be treated as such. A birthday, however, is the day to be celebrated each year. Do not confuse your children by celebrating their adoption day as well."

A birthday may also be a time when questions about birthparents arise, particularly as the child reaches adolescence and adulthood.

Stephanie E. Siegel, Ph.D., Parenting Your Adopted Child (New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1989).

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Barbara - 5 months ago
0 0 1
I disagree with above. As an adoptive parent of a newborn I celebrated the adoption birthday each year as well as the birthday. I saw no harm done in doing in so. In fact it made my child feel even more special. It was a time to reflect on how much happiness and joy she had brought us on that day. To this day we all still remember that day whether it be just a card or a small gift and she is now 25 and expecting her own little bundle of joy! #1
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