What a happy and joyous moment in a family’s life when they are gifted with a new addition to their growing family. What happens, though, when a family suddenly finds itself asking questions, and possibly having concerns about how to adjust to this new life?

Most new parents have questions about how to best care for their child. Adoption can make these questions more complicated, and answers less clear. Happily, there are resources available to help. Even if you are not in need of these resources now, perhaps, you may be in the future.

There are different options you can take in addressing the various questions and issues that may arise between parent and adoptee. These may include feelings about the parenting role, the child’s response to possible early trauma (such as abandonment), knowledge, or the lack of, about the child’s birth family, and how the parent and adoptee can best adjust to their new life together. These types of situations can make any parent and/or adoptee feel confused, worried and helpless. Using those resources available to your family is a positive way to manage these feelings. Support groups can be especially useful.

One good place to start to learn about support groups is the agency that helped to facilitate the adoption. They already know your family and may be familiar with your concerns. They probably have worked with families with similar concerns and are likely to have good connections and recommendations for where parents can go for support groups in their state.  Specifically, there are support groups for parents that provide resources for the issues they’re dealing with. Groups are usually facilitated by adoption professionals, youth group leaders, or other adoptive parents who have experienced similar situations. Furthermore, this can lead to the creation of positive, long term relationships with other group members that prove to be helpful to parents, adoptees, siblings and the whole family. As the child grows, there are also support groups for adoptees that are useful, particularly as they are forming their own identities and trying to understand their personal histories.

Every state offers seminars, group sessions and helpful resources for the adoptive parents and the adoptee. These can be found on the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) website, https://www.nacac.org/connect/parent-group/?cn-s=&cn-cat=10

The first step in helping yourself and your child is sometimes reaching out for support. This could be compared to riding a bike: It takes practice, but every chance you get to pedal and go forward allows you to feel balance and comfort with where the ride is going. In time, you will be able to feel more at ease with adoption.

Sources:

https://www.nacac.org/connect/parent-group/?cn-s=&cn-cat=10– parent group/adoptee group searches

https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-parenting/services/postadoption/– info on what it means with additional links

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/f_postadoptbulletin.pdf– info on what it means in detail – the pdf

https://www.nacac.org/connect/parent-group/– list of groups

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