So you’re thinking of adopting a child, or you are already in the midst of the adoption process. You may wonder whether parenting an adopted child differs significantly from parenting a biological child. The answer, according to most experts—in most ways, it doesn’t, but there are some unique issues you will need to watch out for and to which you’ll want to appropriately respond.
An adopted child has all of the same needs as a biological child—the need to love and be loved, to feel a basic sense of security, to learn limits and structure, to develop self-esteem and a sense of responsibility. So in many ways, parenting an adopted child is really just parenting a child, one who happens to be adopted.
At some point, though, you will need to tell your child about the adoption. How and when you do that can have a significant impact on your child’s emotional health. Experts recommend that you start talking to your child about adoption from the time he or she can walk and talk. They won’t really understand what adoption means, but they’ll be familiar with the word, so that it will be easier to go into more detail as they grow older. Telling the story on a regular basis is considered healthy for the child, as it facilitates acceptance. When you tell your child about the adoption, you don’t accomplish any positive objective by demeaning or speaking negatively about the birth parent.
It’s also important to understand that, even if you haven’t told your child that he or she is adopted, or you don’t talk about it on a regular basis, your child actually experienced loss, even if he or she was an infant when the adoption took place.
Contact Adoption Attorneys Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC
At the law office of Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC, our lawyers bring more than 25 years of experience to every matter we handle. Attorney Donald C. Cofsky has personally handled more than 1,500 adoption proceedings since joining the bar in 1974. Attorney Bruce D. Zeidman has protected the interests of clients in state and federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1984. We understand the challenges you face, and can help you identify all your options so that you can make good decisions that are in your best long-term interests.