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The Adoption Option: Advice From Your Future Family Member (Part 1)

You are thinking of adopting a baby -- or perhaps you have already made up your mind to do so. Conception attempts have left handsyou exhausted and ready to move past the dream of a biological child -- or perhaps you wish to expand on the love of your established family with a child that is currently in a less fortunate position.

Whatever stage you are at in the process, and whatever your reasons for adopting, there are things you need to consider, over and above the practicalities, logistics, and obvious questions you will ask yourself.

I am here to speak as your potential new family member, to give you some food for thought that may not have already occurred to you.

I was once a baby up for adoption.

Like any other infant, I was completely helpless – at the mercy of those entrusted with my care. In my case my birth mother chose to not hold me at all; for her it would have been more painful that way, and who can blame her? Any and all cuddling was left up to the nurses in the hospital, my interim foster parents, and then after two months, my adoptive parents.

Many studies have been done about the correlation between lack of early bonding and attachment disorders. Your infant may have missed a precious early bonding experience - so as an adoptive parent, you’d be wise to do some reading on this topic. Make a commitment to give extra cuddles, pay more attention and spend more time connecting with your new baby.  It is highly likely that he or she will need it.

One thing I urge you to decide before adopting a baby is if and then how you intend to tell your child the story of their birth and adoption. In my opinion, honesty is the best policy, when the time is right. Again, doing some research on what information, how to give it and at what stage of the child’s life, will help you help your child as they learn about themselves.

Adopting a baby has a romantic feel to it, and it really takes a loving heart to raise a child that is not “your own”. However, that baby will grow into a child and then an adult, with questions about their family tree, who they take after, etc.

Conversations that take place in families every day all over the world take on new meaning, and carry more weight for an adopted person. If they are not given answers that can satisfy their natural curiosity, they will likely make up their own answers. The questions “who am I” and “where did I come from” can become looming obsessive thoughts. The child may create a number of different scenarios to answer them and actively live in that fantasy world. These fantasies could include the theme of not being good enough, which is very damaging.

This brings me to the subject of the “language” of adoption and the role it plays...

...To Be Continued

Stay tuned for Part 2 of "The Adoption Option: Advice From Your Future Family Member", coming to the Scholar's Choice Community soon!

26
Jan
Posted by Sharlene Schmidt in Parent, General ← Previous Post Next Post →

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