The New York Times recently published a piece discussing the importance of appropriately acclamation to life following the adoption of a new child. With the rise of adoption in states like New Jersey, new information has been released regarding adaptation procedures when new children are introduced into a pre-existing family system. New parents of adoptive children should be prepared to handle family life in ways that foster the development of adopted children, allow a multitude of emotions to be shared and expressed openly, and be open to new experiences as a result of the new arrangement.
Processing Emotions Following the Close of Adoption Procedures
Adoption procedures are known to be taxing on the parents involved in the process. The grueling process involves a selection of qualities that one will and will not prefer in an adopted child, case studies where homes are scrutinized, and the procurement of enormous amounts of money to finalize the adoption. After this overwhelming process has been completed, new parents are often so relieved to have survived it that they do not adequately prepare for the new journey they are about to take once the child has entered their home. Adopted children, if they are not infants, can be nervous, anxious, or frustrated about engaging with new parents during the beginning of their new lives. These emotions combined with any nervousness the parents may feel can create very unrealistic expectations and behaviors in the home environment. Leading adoption analyst often suggest that new parents take time before the adoption procedures even begin to mentally process the gravity of the circumstance they have chosen. Although no amount of preparation can replace the actual experience of adopting a child, adequate preparation can drastically reduce unrealistic expectations and negative emotions surrounding the adoptive process.
Adjusting to Outside Family
New adoptive families also struggle to help extended family adjust to new family arrangements, especially if the child is of a different race or ethnicity than the original family. Experts suggest educating these family members as much as possible before the child enters the home to alleviate undue stress.