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Blended Families: Combining Biological and Adopted Children

breanna-jon2Giving a child a home through adoption is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a child. While many people adopt because they cannot have biological children, there are a growing number of people though who are combining children by adoption and by birth in their family.

Whether Planned or Not…

Sometimes babies come as a surprise. For thousands of years, couples who thought they were unable to conceive, including some who had surgery to make sure they could not conceive, miraculously became pregnant. Those are often happy surprises. There are devastating surprises that lead to a combination of biological and adopted children as well. When young parents are tragically killed, children often are adopted by aunts and uncles, or other family members, who may already have children of their own.

Often these combinations of children by birth and adoption within the same family are created by design. Many families who already have children of their own choose to adopt other children as well. Why is this? They enjoy parenting, and they know the need is great for good adoptive parents to the many children in the foster care system and orphanages. Is this fair to the birth children and adopted children? It can be.

…Families Come Together
These situations work well when children are old enough to understand what is happening and become part of the adoptive process. Young children can be shaken enough when parents announce to them that they are pregnant and that they can expect to be a big brother or sister. To bring home a two or three-year-old child and tell them they will be joining the family might be even more jarring.

Is it fair to the adopted child? They are the one being uprooted the most in the situation. If they sense or experience jealousy and competition among their new siblings, they will quickly revert back to group home behavior, keeping to themselves, and building emotional boundaries that will take a lot of effort and time to overcome. You owe it to your new adopted child to get the rest of the family on the same page as you welcome this new child into your home.

Stepchildren
The last major reason that birth children and adopted children are combined together in the same household is due to divorce and remarriage. These situations have their own unique challenges, especially in open adoptions where your adopted kids have other parents besides you, while your birth children do not. Multiple parenting couples can cause complications and misunderstandings if you are not able to keep a strong line of communication between everyone raising the children.


There are always situations that occur that cause conflict between birth children and adopted children. As their parents, you are equally responsible for all your children, regardless of who gave birth to them. It is essential to give all your children space to process their own emotions around the situation, and, if they continue to struggle after that, it would be an excellent idea to seek out the services of a family counselor or therapist.