At some point, a friend or a family member may confide in you they are starting the adoption process for a child. Just as with pregnancies, an adoptive parent can become as excited as someone who is giving a biological birth. How you react and support them going forward will make all of the difference in the world in reducing worries and stress within the adoption process. Let’s look at what your friend or a family member needs during this process and what you can do for adoption support if someone you know is adopting.
When someone has finally decided to adopt, more than likely, they will share the news with others for two reasons, one, out of pure excitement that something they want is going to happen, and two, they are nervous about the process. Seeking reassurance from others is a human trait that many of us share.
Advice is always the first thing we tend to give when news like this is given. When finding out about someone’s plans to adopt, try to keep the advice to a minimum and give them reassurance that everything will work out for them. Let them know you support their decision and are there to offer whatever help you can.
Even if you have adopted a child yourself, let them know if they have any questions; you are willing to help them with the answers. This tells your friend or family member you have their best interest in mind but won’t bring up negative issues which may arise unless they seek your help.
We know the addition of a new child into a home will create some adjustment on the part of the new parent. As adults with children, we really learn with experience. This can be overwhelming to both the new child and the parent. To help make the adjustment easier for both and if you have your own children, offer to set up playdates with their child. Children feel more comfortable around other kids and getting them involved with friendships is a good way to create stabilization in their lives.
Keep in Touch During the Adoption Process
Undertaking an adoption can run anywhere from six months to several years depending on the child’s needs, and this is after the new parents vetting process. During that time, your friend or family member will experience a multitude of emotional ups and downs. To help, offer your time and ear when they need to vent and share in their joy when a part of the process moves forward.
Offer to go with them to any appointments and offer to be a character witness to them during the process. This will go a long way in helping to keep them focused and not becoming discouraged when things begin to spread out over time. Sometimes even knowing you are only a phone call or a visit away can make all of the difference in the world with adoption support.