Whether through adoption or childbirth, there are many ways to create a family. However, there are certain emotional considerations that parents have to think about when raising adopted children that don’t necessarily occur with biological children. If you’re a father raising or considering raising adopted children, keep reading for more information.
Start the Conversation Early
Many parents agonize about the best way to tell a child he’s adopted. While there’s no agreed upon age or timeline, most experts say it’s best to start early. For some parents, this means telling the child how happy they are that they got to adopt him when he’s still an infant. For others, this means wanting until the child is around preschool age and naturally curious about where babies come from. Either way, experts recommend keeping the explanation honest and simple.
Work Through Common Concerns
As children get older and start to better. understand the concept of adoption, they might begin to experience some common concerns about self-worth and abandonment. To help ease these fears, explain to your child that there’s nothing wrong with her, and she was adopted because her biological parents couldn’t care for the baby when she was born. Additionally, let her know that adoption is permanent and that you will never give her up.
Help Navigate Holidays
While special celebrations like birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and more are usually a special part of family time, some adopted children feel sadness and anxiety on these days. Some adopted children say that in their minds, birthdays are also the day they were given up. Others say that special holidays are difficult to navigate because they feel like they focus on their biological parents more.
As a parent, you can help your child put into words what he’s feeling. On special holidays, consider letting your child make a card or putting some flowers on the mantle as a way to acknowledge his biological parents.
Help Find Biological Parents
Whether they’re interested in their biological parent’s medical history or they’re simply curious, some children eventually want to meet their biological parents. They may be suffering from a trauma that occurred prior to their adoption, in which treatments such as EMDR Therapy would be useful if the type of trauma is identified.
While some adoptive parents have plenty of notes and information about the adopted child’s biological parents, others have little to no information to use. In cases like this, it’s difficult to know where to start. If you’re trying to help your adopted child find her biological father or mother, online background check services offer access to public records such as phone numbers and addresses that can make the search a little easier.
Always Be Willing to Talk
Adoptions are complex situations, and sometimes children need time to work through the information. Talk openly about adoption with your child, but don’t push the conversation if he doesn’t feel like talking. Instead, simply let him know you’re always happy to answer any questions he might have.
If you have adopted children, make sure you understand the fears, thoughts, and feelings they sometimes experience so you can navigate these complicated subjects together.
Do you have an adopted child? What are some tips that you can offer to other parents? Leave a comment below.