By Eleanor Beeslaar, HRI Graduate Assistant
Adoption brings families together in many different ways and for a variety of unique reasons. It can involve bringing children to the United States from another country or adopting domestically. Some families may adopt infants, while others adopt older children. Children may be placed individually or with their siblings, and they may or may not be of the same race/ethnicity as their adoptive families. There are many different reasons for adoption. Individuals and families may wish to expand their family or have a desire to help a child in need, and grandparents may adopt their grandchildren through kinship adoption. The number of adoptive parents continues to increase as more single women and men and diverse family structures make the decision to open their hearts and homes to children in need of a safe, healthy, and happy family (Riley & Singer, 2018).
Whatever your reason is for adopting, the decision to welcome a child into your family can be both exciting and nerve wracking. You may be worried about needs that your child may have, such as emotional, medical or academic support. You may also be wondering how you can best support your child as they work through challenges and difficult feelings related to being a part of an adoptive family. They may feel different from children who live with their biological parents, have feelings surrounding the idea of being adopted, have complex emotions about their birth parents, and worry about questions from their peers or other adults about their adoption. Though these concerns are challenging, adoptive parents can successfully navigate these topics with effective communication, love, and support (Riley & Singer, 2018).
In support of November’s National Adoption Month, over the next week, HRI will be sharing information about the complexities and challenges of adoption and how family counseling services can support families during this time of transition and change.
Riley, D. & Singer, E. (2018). Adoption. Retrieved from https://www.aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Adoption.aspx