As a parent, you have a significant impact on how your adopted or foster child grows up. Many parents are unsure how to support their children’s LGBTQ identity. With openness, education, and love, you can show your support. In LGBTQ adoptions, the children must know that their family is accepting of their identity.
Many children are still trying to figure out who they are, and those who identify as being LGBTQ face additional challenges. They must know they are accepted, since many children try to hide their identity out of fear of being rejected and ridiculed. They need to be able to express themselves openly.
Luckily for you, being a good parent means the same thing across the board: love them unconditionally. Below are some parenting tips to help you show your love and support.
One of the best things that you can do is have open communication with your child. Parenting means that you need to be there for your adopted or foster child when they need you. You must support their mental and physical health by being there for them.
They may come to you for advice or vent about how they are feeling. It is essential that you show your support for their LGBTQ identity even if you feel uncomfortable with the conversation. They need to know that you are there for them. This will help them feel accepted into your family.
If your child is at the age where they can be sexually active, it is essential that you have a conversation with them about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Be honest with them. They need to be able to trust that you will provide them with accurate information.
When your child is mistreated, you need to advocate and stand up for them. This may happen at school or home. It is unfortunate when other members of your family mistreat your child due to their identity. Stop the aggressors in their tracks and show your support. Your child must know that you will always have their back.
Sometimes your child may mistreat themselves because of self-hate. You need to stop this immediately and talk with them. Let them know how special they are and listen to them.
Connect with the LGBTQ Community
Invite your child’s LGBTQ friends and their partners to family events and activities. You can also bring your child to LGBTQ events to get them involved in the community. Accompany your child to show your support.
By connecting your child with a role model in the LGBTQ community, they will show your child what they could accomplish. Role models help children envision themselves as successful members of society. The role model could also support them emotionally and talk about topics your child may not be comfortable talking to you about.
To ensure that your adopted or foster child who identifies as LGBTQ has the best life possible, it is your responsibility as a parent to keep them safe, advocate for them, have open communication, and love them.