The adoption process is finally over! Everything has been signed, and you’ve brought your new bundle of joy home. Breathe a huge sigh of relief. It’s all over. Things will go back to normal now, right? Not exactly. With a new member of the family, you’ll need to create a different sense of normal. For the first few weeks or months, too, there will be an adjustment period where your baby gets used to his or her surroundings and parents they aren’t used to. You will have to go through a similar transition time as their parent. But that’s all part of the journey of becoming a family.
As your child grows, you’ll need to be aware of a few things as well. Particular words and phrases could come across hurtful without context or clarification. Voicing certain pieces of information, too, without your child’s consent first can also cause damage to your relationship with them. When it comes to being a parent of an adoptee, there are things that are considered big taboos.
Don’t pretend your child didn’t have parents before you
Your adoptee will want to know about his or her heritage and background. Information regarding their birth parents’ identity, and what kind of people they are. These questions are most commonly found within closed adoptions. With open adoptions, adoptees are typically able to have communication with their birth parents, depending on the adoption agreement that was made in the initial stages.
Don’t tell everyone your child’s adoption story
Even though sharing the details of how your child was adopted with friends and family can be exciting — especially in the beginning — be careful not to overshare or to spread it around too easily. This can turn into gossip, and we all know the dangers of that. Besides, it isn’t just your story. The pieces that concern you, yes. Absolutely tell those parts. But the part that involves your son or daughter? That belongs to them.
Be respectful and mindful of this. Your child’s adoption story is an important piece of who they are. Ask permission if you can share it. Otherwise let your son or daughter do that. Some adoptees are very sensitive and private about their adoption stories. Allow them to tell it when they’re ready. It will show them that they can trust you, and strengthen your relationship.
Don’t hide your child’s adoption story from them
Along those same lines, don’t hide your child’s adoption story either. It isn’t something to be ashamed of. So many stigmas and negative connotations surround adoption. If your son or daughter sees your hesitation and reservation in talking about it, how do you think that will make them feel? Definitely not included, loved or valued.
Be sure to have open lines of communication with your child, and let them know that they can come to you if they ever have questions about their adoption. When they are little, even if they aren’t able to fully understand, tell it to them as a bedtime story. Share pictures with them, if those are available. Be open about their adoption right from the start.
Don’t expect special treatment because you adopted
This one seems like a no-brainer, but unfortunately there are parents who expect more acknowledgement or respect because they chose to adopt. Growing your family through adoption doesn’t make you extra special or entitled. It doesn’t mean you should receive additional gratitude or appreciation. Adoption makes you a parent. Just like with giving birth to a biological child, adoption comes with the same feelings, fears and desires of a new parent.
Adopted or not, though, it shouldn’t change how you treat or love your child. Thus, you shouldn’t expect more from them or others just because you’ve chosen to adopt.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“5 Things Adoptive Parents Should Never Do.” Parenting Tips and Advice, 24 Aug. 2017, www.theparentszone.com/adoption-foster-care/things-adoptive-parents-never-do/.
“6 Things Adoptive Parents Should Never Do.” Angel Adoption, Angel Adoption, Inc., 28 Apr. 2016, www.angeladoptioninc.com/blog/6-things-adoptive-parents-should-never-do/.
Brenoff, Ann. “8 Things Adoptive Parents Should Never, Ever Do.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Dec. 2017, www.huffpost.com/entry/7-things-adoptive-parents-should-never-ever-do_n_6043650?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAMx59QJY81uQsyDhJTknPKWeduscKDZ1tDSZKur0mhLhPz03DMSH6MtcfjnDs-6t3r09GqSTtscHl3Oi4xs5xUsTZp7lyv4PrVwK-HG0pQfvPTHeG2nIN6W594d7KUlr5VkssiRT7gXBjG_tw0DeTqM9qw-b41huxuoQBSbJfZCT.