10 Tips for Raising an Adoptive Child
Congratulations, you are parents! You have the joy of raising a beautiful child! But how do you raise your child? In a lot of ways, adoptive parenting is not that much different from parenting a biological child. They all need a loving home and a loving family. Raising an adopted child comes with the responsibility of sharing their adoption story and where they came from. But how do you do that? Well we have the answers! Here are 10 tips on how to raise an adopted child and ensure they are confident in who they are, where they came from and how loved they are by you and their birth parents.
- Tell their adoption story often. Talk about your child’s birth parents, tell your child about how you found them, how you wished for them, and how you came to meet them when they were born. Be open about the adoption process with them.
- Understand developmental stages. Some parents after adopting an infant, feel that because the child is fussy or unattached at times, means that they are rejecting you as a parent. This is not true! It is important to understand that this is completely normal for an infant to go through as they grow and develop.
- Read children’s stories about adoption to your child. It is shown how important it is to read to your child and it is also important to read to your child about adoption. Here are some children’s adoption stories that can become a new bedtime favorite! Yes I’m Adopted! By Sharlie Zinniger, Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis, We Belong Together by Todd Parr, I Wished for You by Marianne R Richmond, I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb, Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, and The Mulberry Bird by Anne Braff Brodzinsky.
- Raise your child knowing where they come from. It is crucial that your child is raised knowing that they have two parents that love them dearly. Talk to them even in infancy about their birth parents and their adoption so as they grow and develop, it will always be a part of who they are.
- Go to adoption/ parenting education classes. Make sure to receive all the education you can on being adoptive parents and raising a child. Invite grandparents or aunts and uncles to come with you to class so that they also understand adoption education.
- Include the birth parents in the child’s life. If you have an open adoption, involve the birth parents in the small and big moments in the child’s life, if that is what both parties wish. It can be a beautiful thing to have them close to your family. If you have a closed adoption, speak often to your child about their birth parents and how much they loved the child. If one day, the child wants to meet their birth parents, be open and supportive about your child’s wishes.
- Prepare big siblings for the addition of a little sibling. If you have children during the adoption process, explain to them how they are going to have a new sibling! Include your children in the adoption process and talk with them about the new addition to your family and what your family will be like once the baby is here!
- Be age appropriate. As your child grows and develops, they will have different questions about their adoption story. Decide ahead of time how you would like to talk to them about these questions. If possible, ask the birth mother if she would like to write a letter to the child where she can answer questions directly.
- Respect your child’s emotions. There will be times when your child may question their identity as an adoptee. The best thing you can do for them when this arises is to be open and honest. Be open about how their birth parents made it possible for them to be with your family. Always express how loved they are by your family and their birth parents. Don’t be afraid to walk them through where they came from and be open about answering all of their questions.
- Raising an adopted child is not much different than raising a biological child. You love your children. All of them. No matter how they came to you. Raising your child who was adopted may bring about more questions of where they came from and navigating how to tell them of their adoption story, but it is no different than another child. You raise them with love, care, empathy, and support.
If you need further information, please contact Forever Bound Adoption at 801-821-1354, we are always here for you.
Below we have attached links for the books discussed above.