You’re planning to adopt! The whole adoption process is a very emotional experience for the adoptive parents, and it culminates in a joyful new relationship with your new child. But what about the other family members?
If you have children at home already, they will be getting a new baby brother or sister. You may wonder when and whether to involve them in the adoption process. Telling a toddler that you’re hoping to get a new baby may not communicate much information. On the other hand, older children will probably catch on to the excitement in your home. Cluing them in to the big news earlier rather than later can help them feel involved.
Things can change during the adoption process, and kids may be confused by unforeseen changes. It’s wise to leave the exact details of when the new baby or child will come home with you open.
There are many ways that big brothers and sisters can be involved with the adoption process, though. The birth mother’s adoption plan may include your older children, or it may not. Siblings can help with preparing the new baby’s room, making a video for the new baby to watch in the future, or creating a project like a quilt or a scrapbook to welcome their new little brother or sister.
“You’re going to be a grandparent!” can be just as exciting as “You’re going to be a parent!” If you didn’t share the news that you were thinking about adoption, though, be prepared to talk about that decision along with the exciting news.
Remember when you first started thinking about adoption? You might have had a lot of questions. By the time you’ve gone far enough into the adoption process to share the news with other family members, you have learned a lot and you might even have forgotten those questions. Other family members might still have misconceptions and uncertainty, though. Their questions don’t mean they’re not delighted for you, so don’t start off on the wrong foot.
Share your excitement — and your knowledge. If you’re still considering adoption or getting ready to apply, consider discussing these things with your parents so they can rejoice with you at each step along the way.
Other family members
Your new son or daughter will be part of your extended family. The customs and traditions that make your family special will be part of your adopted child’s life and history. If your child’s heritage is different from your own, involve your other family members in the fun of learning about customs or observations you might want to include in your family traditions going forward.
If you’re considering adoption, Heimer Law is here for you in all the details. Arkansas attorney Justin Heimer is also a trained Family Therapist, and will be happy to answer any questions and concerns you may have. Call us any time at 479.599.8677.