Adoption involves taking responsibility of caring for a child and ensuring that the child is raised in a loving home. “Adoptions From The Heart” states that choosing to adopt is a huge decision, but it is also a first in a long line of decisions and concerns. The joy parents feel when they first bring the child home is unparalleled, but the process itself can leave you feeling anxious and stressed. Will you be a good parent? Will you feel any differently because the child is adopted? Will you be able to bond?
Adoptive parents often experience anxieties and fears, as they wait for a situation to come through. Anxiety is normal during adoption, as your daily responsibilities seem astounding. While each family is unique, there are some common fears and anxieties that several adoptive parents face during the process of adoption.
Five Common Adoption Worries And Anxieties
- Worries About The Duration Of Adoption
Adopting a child can bring tremendous joy to most parents, but the process can be
stressful and frustrating. This can take a toll on prospective adoptive parents because of
the paperwork, and the waiting involved at every step of the way. The commitment that adoption involves is permanent and it is expensive in terms of time, money, attention and energy. Waiting can be frustrating, but remind yourself that the journey is well worth it in the end.
- Worries About Bonding
During the process and after you bring your child home, it is normal to worry about whether you can bond with your new family member. Bonding occurs when the child gains trust in a parent and is reassured that his or her needs are met in this new family dynamic. However, you must realize that bonding doesn’t always occur immediately. It could take some time for you to develop a bond with your child by adoption. This initial inability to share a bond can stress you out, but you must know that it is natural. Developing a bond is often resolved by simply spending time and getting to know your child better. You must be patient and understanding because some children can take much longer to open up depending on the type of environment they have come from. Bonding is a process that is unique to every situation, so don’t feel anxious and rush it.
- Worries About Unknown Health Issues Of The Child
Many new parents are worried about unknown health issues that may come with a child by adoption since only basic information about the child’s medical history is given at the time of adoption. With domestic adoption, this is becoming less of an issue, as the birth parents are required by state laws to fill out forms giving their medical background to the adoptive family. In the case of international adoption, it may be harder to have available information about the birth parent’s health. This can make parents wonder whether the child’s genetics make him or her vulnerable to different types of illnesses and diseases.
If you want to alleviate your fears, make an appointment with your doctor to give your child a thorough health checkup. Even parents of biological children worry about their child’s health. This is normal. No one knows everything about their medical history and no one wants their child to get sick.
- Worries About Behavioral Issues
With older adopted children, there is usually the fear of behavioral issues. Adoptive
parents are anxious and wonder whether they will be able to deal with such issues. Children who have been living in foster care and institutions generally may not have had an easy life. It is likely that there will be instances where your patience is tried and your limits tested until there is a sense of trust and conviction that you are not changing your mind and sending the child away. As an adoptive parent, you have to face these challenges head on and can overcome this by simply educating yourself about the special needs that are going to arise. Speak to experts, find support services in your area that will help you and your child This will increase your confidence in your ability to handle such situations, should they arise.
- Worries About Family Reactions
One of the fears that adoptive parents have is the reaction of family and friends to their decision to adopt a child domestically or internationally. Relatives and friends may express concerns about whether the adopted child will fit into their family, especially if the child is of a different race. Before adopting your child, you should make it clear to your family and friends that you have weighed the pros and cons of adopting, and you feel confident enough to parent the child. You now hope that those around you will support and help you. Be prepared that some people may drop out of your life or will cease making negative remarks regarding adoption and you may have to either speak to them about it or let them go.
Adoption is special in so many ways both for the parents and child. If you feel anxious or worried, just remember that time can make things better, so be patient and understanding of your new child and yourself.
Author Bio: Maxine Chalker is the founder and Executive Director of Adoptions From The Heart. She holds a MSW and LSW which she uses to give adoption a new face by breaking down the barriers and taking some of the mystery out of the adoption process. Chalker was also adopted.