When a family chooses to adopt, they face many perils in the first few weeks of making their decision. Then, when they finally get the child, they have to prepare for their newfound life as parents. Unfortunately, some of those perils comes from the mouths and actions of those around them. When others are uncomfortable with the concept of adoption, they may find it difficult to show their support without seeming rude.
However, after an adoption, families need the utmost support in order to navigate this process with ease. If you know someone who is considering adoption or has already made the leap, consider how you can show your support.
Don’t Inquire Too Much About the Child’s Past
While it’s good to know where the adoptee is coming from, too much emphasis on their background can create lines of separation within the household. Therefore, try to revolve your conversations around the personality of the child. This shows how much you support their decision without being too intrusive.
If the child chooses to share information regarding their past, don’t stop them from doing so. Instead, listen with care and an open mind.
Don’t Ask If They’re Sure About The Choice
Making the choice to adopt no doubt took a lot of time and consideration. Continuously asking if the adopted family is sure about their decision only creates more doubt and division within the family. Therefore, simply show your support by being there. Keep your questions or concerns regarding their decision to yourself.
Treat the Child With Respect
This is especially important if it is a transracial or an LGBT adoption. If the child is of age to understand what’s going on, avoid asking them unsolicited questions about their background. The child may already feel out of place. By focusing on where they came from, you’re still creating a line of division between your family and theirs. Therefore, treat the child like they are part of the family. This will help them feel more comfortable and make the integration process smooth.
Don't Use the Phrase "He/She Is Adopted"
When introducing the child, there’s no need to let others know that they’re adopted. It’s best to simply introduce the child as who they are without bringing up personal matters. While this may seem explanatory, some people tend to over speak due to nervous energy. Simply introduce the child as your niece, nephew, cousin or sibling to avoid feelings of discomfort.
If you know someone who is planning on adopting or has already done so, take these tips into account in your dealings with them. This will help the child feel more at ease. In addition, parents will feel happy about their decision. By making a genuine effort, blended families have the capability to live together harmoniously.