Adoptive parents find themselves in an almost entirely new environment. Raising an adopted child can be both challenging and rewarding, with plenty of small moments of struggle and victory along the way.
These parents will often have many different questions when raising their children, and there are some things each adoptive parent should know. This article will cover a wide variety of issues that concern adoptive parents and try to offer advice to them on how to have the most positive experience with their adopted child.
What are the key elements to successful adoptive parenting?
- Love: Above all, adoptive parents need to love their children. A warm, loving environment is the most important factor in determining the outcome of a child and ensuring he or she is well-adjusted.
- Perspective: Adoptive parenting is tough. Parents need to be able to take things in stride and not be dismayed when the family hits a rough patch. Keeping the big picture in mind and understanding that building a family takes time is crucial for adoptive parents.
How can parents talk with their kids about their adoption?
Telling children that the parents that they have come to love is not the parent that gave birth to them can seem like a daunting task, and in many ways it is. This is a very serious discussion, and parents need to be tolerant and understanding of the many emotions a child may experience and express when informed of their adoption.
Bring up adoption well before telling your child about their own; speak positively of the process regularly and normalize it for your adopted child so that they can better understand the news. When telling your kid about their adoption, don’t blame or criticize the birth parent and create guilt or any sort of discomfort to the parent.
How can parents share really difficult birth parent history with children?
Birth parents place their children up for adoption for a multitude of reasons, and in some cases, those reasons may be elusive and difficult to discuss. However, children have a right to know the story of who gave birth to them. Be diligent and shrewd in telling the story to your children, as children at different ages are prepared to hear different things.
The most important part is to be honest. Talk about their birth story early, and tell them what you know, often the negative parts too — but don’t linger on them.
What should adoptive parents do if their children are not interested in talking about adoption?
Listen to your children and hear what they have to say. Each child matures at his or her own unique pace, and as a parent it is important not to force them to have a conversation prematurely. However, if it feels like the child simply doesn’t want to face the truth, sit down with him or her and tell them the truth, using your best judgment.
Adoption is an incredibly rewarding opportunity for both parent and child, but it can be a difficult topic to discuss with our children. These emotions are natural, as are the emotions adopted children feel when dealing with digesting their background. Sometimes, our emotions can even express themselves in unusual ways, but it is important not to judge ourselves or others for experiencing them.