Monday, April 20, 2015

Adopting Parents


■ The idea of adoption has changed over the last few decades from a last resort to a natural option in creating a family.

■ With the ease of travel many adoptions are from outside the US, blending not only a new family but also cultures and races as well. (known as transracial and transcultural adoption).

■ Adoption occurs for many reasons, such as the wish to expand families or to provide a home for children in need.

  • o Kinship adoption may include grandparents adopting the children of their children.
  • o More single people of both genders are adopting today than ever before, as are gay and lesbian couples.


■ The Decision to Adopt

  • o If the choice is motivated by infertility many issues can accompany the choice.

◆ Feeling of loss
◆ Feeling of giving up on a dream
◆ Anxiety and fear about making this decision
◆ Stress related to how to go about adoption, how society will impact their decision, how their families and support systems will react.

  • o The paper work alone can be overwhelming
  • o Stress may affect a marriage if couples have different coping skills or if one is more ready to adopt than the other.


■ Foster Children

  • o Being able to provide the appropriate medical, emotional, or academic support for foster children with special needs.
  • o Prepared to suffer the potential loss of the relationship if child is returned to home or adopted by another family.
  • o Stress of how to handle the child’s biological parents and family.


■ Parenting Adopted Children
o Address children’s questions about their adoption, about birth parents, and be able to prepare child for questions by others about their adoption.
o Any parent has to be aware of changes in behaviors that indicate an emotional struggle, such as:

  • ◆ Social withdrawal
  • ◆ In attentiveness that affects productivity at home or school
  • ◆ Anger outbursts and temper tantrums
  • ◆ Attachment anxiety, fear of being alone
  • ◆ Changes in eating or sleeping patterns.


■ Role of Family Therapists

  • o Help the family understand the impact of adoption on the family and the child
  • o Work with the children who may have a hard time talking to adoptive parents about the adoption fearing it might show a sign of disloyalty or being unappreciative.
  • o Normalizing the feelings of wanting to learn about their biological parents and the reasons why they were put up for adoption.
  • o Work with the biological children in the family giving them a place to explore their feelings about the adoption.
  • o With the adjustment to new relationships, the family therapist can ensure positive communication and creating appropriate boundaries to benefit the children and strengthen the family.




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