Adoption can be a beautiful way to grow your family by welcoming a child into your loving home. However, it can also include a substantial learning curve as you navigate the best way to develop healthy relationships between members of your family.
It is important to remember that challenges are a normal part of the adoption process, and it can be extremely beneficial to utilize any support systems that are offered to you.
Stressors to Consider After Adopting a Child
Adopting a child is going to have an impact on family as you may find you need to alter your lifestyle or change the way you approach things with your child in order to reduce the effect any stressors may have on you and your family. It is important to consider the following potential stressors:
● Your child may have more emotional or behavioral issues than you expected. Children that are adopted over the age of 3 are more likely to remember their life before the adoption. That could include some horrible experiences that might leave them with trauma and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Your child may have difficulty in school, act out at home, or have trouble making new friends. It is important for you to be able to deal with these emotional issues calmly and try to understand what your child might be feeling.
● Your expenses will increase as your child will need food, clothing, and medical care, which can all become expensive as a whole. This can cause emotional and financial distress, and it is important that parents try not to allow this to affect their ability to build a relationship with their new child.
● Taking in someone new means that you have to adapt to their personality. You may find there is conflict at first between different members of the family as they adjust to each other. It is important to learn what makes your child tick and then help them develop positive coping strategies.
● It will take time to find your footing as a parent, and you may feel guilty that you can’t seem to develop your ideal parenting style. Avoid letting yourself get depressed or regretful and remember that you will find the parenting style that best fits you and your family.
After adoption, some families may feel alone in their experiences. It is important to remember there are a lot of adoption support services in many communities, including:
● mental health and counseling therapy
● support groups for a variety of needs: transracial adoption, lgbt adoption, trauma
● workshops, seminars, and publications
● educational support for children who may be behind in school
● respite care
If you find you are having difficulty finding support for your family, consider finding them services through:
● other adoptive parents
● your adoptive agency
● your child’s doctor
● adoption assistance by state database: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/ adopt-assistance/
If you are someone who is looking to support a family after they have adopted, the most important thing you can do is be understanding and non-judgemental. You can show your support by educating yourself and learning positive adoption language.
If you have the means to provide financial support, it can help relieve some of their stress. You can also provide emotional support or donate your time by helping with some everyday tasks while they are adjusting.