Blog// LGBT Adoption

Post-Adoption Blues: How to Cope

Baby and dad sleeping

Your beloved and long-awaited child is finally home, but instead of joy and happiness you may feel tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed. This is what many new mothers experience after they give birth to their child, and yes, adoptive parents can feel the same way after the adoption. The adoption process likely didn't fully prepared you for these feelings at home that may happen after your accomplishment. There are many ways to recognize the symptoms of post-adoption blues, and luckily, many ways that are recommended to cope with it.

What are the post-adoption blues?

One of the reasons why post-adoption blues occur is that during an adoption process parents need to prove they are fit to be parents. Once their child is placed with them, they struggle with the fact that no one is perfect. Once the placement occurs it is not unusual a parent to feel like a failure, but it is not healthy to hide your feelings or carry that burden by yourself. The connection with another person is rarely instantaneous. It can take time to feel that special bond with your child. Post-adoption blues can lead to further depression. That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of post-adoption blues when they happen and manage them.

Most common symptoms...

If you are worried you are experiencing post-adoption depression, many who have suffered it report similar symptoms.

  1. Feeling worthless and powerless.
  2. Feeling incompetent regarding raising a child.
  3. Excessive guilt.
  4. Feeling depressed most of the day.
  5. Inability to concentrate on everyday tasks.
  6. Loss of energy and ambition.
  7. Changes in sleeping pattern.
  8. Retreating from family and friends.

It can be hard for parents to admit to themselves that they are having a hard time with something that they have planned for such a long time. However, in spite of the preparations, admitting that something isn't right is the first step to feeling better and solving the problem. If you won’t do it for yourself, then do it for the wellness of your new family.

How to cope...

As you can see, the first step is to acknowledge that you’re feeling a post-adoption blues. Now you should find some coping mechanisms that work for you in order to heal.

  1. You’re not alone, so allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, but remind yourself you’re going get through this with help and support.
  2. It’s also a good idea to join a support group to share your feelings with others who have been through the same.
  3. It often takes some time to bond with the child so remember that your baby will need some time to grow attached. Learn to be patient.
  4. Take care of yourself and try not to do things that contribute to the stress you're already dealing with. Have boundaries and limit your battles.
  5. Enroll in a parent-child class to build a connection with your child.
  6. Keep a positive attitude and don’t let negative thoughts in.
  7. You’re not alone, so allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling, but remind yourself you’re going get through this with help and support.

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