Blog// LGBT Adoptive Parents

The Importance of Post-Adoption Support

Post-adoption support is crucial for adoptive families, even if you feel confident and prepared the learning and support process should not end after adoption placement. Many adoptive families do not actively participate in or reach out for support for a wide variety of reasons and miss out on many opportunities that could be of great benefit. Regardless of how well your adoption is going, on-going support is necessary and vital to equip and sustain you on the journey of adoption parenting. 

Here are several reasons why this support is necessary:

Adjustment and Transition

Adopting a child involves significant changes for both the adoptee and the family. While the hope is for a smooth and easy transition, parents should anticipate and prepare for challenges so they are equipped to handle them when they arise. Post-adoption support can help you navigate the adjustment period by addressing these challenges that arise as everyone settles into new roles and routines.

Every family will have a different experience, there may be challenges on the front end or there may be challenges that arise later down the road. Having your agency there to support you will be vital. Even if things appear to be going well, they can still offer guidance and support during those early phases. Do not let self-reliance keep you from reaching out, you do yourself and your adoptee a disservice when you do not ask for help. 

Educational Support

Your adoptee may face unique educational challenges. Post-adoption services can offer guidance on navigating the educational system, advocating for the child's needs, and accessing appropriate resources and accommodations. One of the many benefits of post adoption is support is that it allows you to become informed and develop a comprehensive understanding of the services and resources available for your adoptee. 

Mental Health Resources

Chances are good, in some capacity during their lifetime, your adoptee may struggle with mental issues such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD. Research shows that adoptees are at a higher risk for mental health disorders thus access to counseling and therapeutic services is vital for the well-being of these individuals. Even if you feel your adoptee is “well-adjusted” there could be underlying mental health struggles they are facing but not vocalizing. As an adoptive parent, do not make assumptions that your child is not struggling to navigate their own adoption story and any trauma interlaced in their story. 

Make it a priority to have counseling support networks already established and encourage your adoptee to engage in these services. Please do not let the fear of judgment or stigma prevent you from encouraging your adoptee to utilize the support offered. Additionally, if you feel your adoptee is struggling and do not know of the mental health services available in your area or services that specialize in working with adoptees, reach out to your adoption agency. 

Parenting Strategies

Adoptive parents may need to adapt their parenting techniques to meet the specific needs of their adoptee. Post-adoption support offers training and advice on effective parenting strategies tailored to their child's background and needs. While you probably have undergone comprehensive pre-adoption placement training, your adoptee's needs will change as they grow and so your parenting will need to change as well. Trauma informed parenting and best practices for parenting adoptees can evolve as new research emerges. Therefore, it is crucial to stay connected with your agency to ensure you are continually using the most effective adoptive parenting strategies.

Community and Peer Support:

Connecting with other adoptive families provides a sense of community and shared experience.   Adoptive families should be part of your community and network regardless of where you are in the adoption process. Support groups and networks allow parents to share insights, advice, and encouragement with those who understand their unique situation. Your adoption agency will most likely offer support groups for adoptees or know of resources in the area for adopted individuals, these connections are incredibly beneficial for adoptees. In the early years, your adoptee is dependent on you to help them establish a network and connect with other adoptees. Partner with your adoptee by finding support groups or families in your community so your adoptee is less isolated. 

Crisis Intervention

In times of crisis, having access to immediate and knowledgeable support can prevent situations from escalating. Post-adoption services provide a safety net for families to reach out to in times of need. Do not hesitate to seek support out of fear of judgment or shame. Every parent needs help at times, and asking for it does not make you a failure

Even when adoptive parents feel confident, the unique and often unforeseen challenges of adoption make post-adoption support an invaluable resource. It ensures that adoptive families are equipped with the tools, knowledge, and community support necessary to thrive, offering stability and resilience for both parents and adoptees.


By: Ramya Gruneisen

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