Having Confidence in Your Abilities as an Adoptive Parent
The average amount of time children are in New Jersey foster care before being adopted is around 3.1 years, according to data gathered in 2012. Many people looking to adopt a child feel nervous about their abilities to be good parents. Facing this fear is a normal part of the process.
Connect With Other Adoptive Parents
Talking with other people who have gone through the adoption process will give you insights and reassure you that you’re not alone. Lots of adoptive parents have the same worries in the beginning. For example, many worry about having what it takes to raise a child who experienced early traumas or dealing with birth parents trying to interfere. It’s normal to have these worries, so don’t let your sudden anxiety hold you back from adopting a child.
Whether you’re going through a private adoption or an agency adoption, you should consult with a New Jersey adoption attorney to protect your interests. This helps give you confidence in the legal aspects of adoption.
Discuss Potential Health Issues With Doctors
If you’re going through the closed adoption process, you might not have access to the child’s medical history and family medical history. This means that you will not know if the child is at a higher risk of mental disorders and other health issues. When you adopt a child who’s no longer a baby, you must be aware that they may have mental health issues to work through. You’ll need to have patience and an understanding of how children can be affected by their parents putting them up for adoption. Some of these children may have been abused as well.
Discuss these topics with various doctors and mental health care professionals to learn what to expect and how to handle them. When you know what to expect, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities to be a good adoptive parent. Schedule therapy appointments for the child if needed, and maintain a positive mindset that he or she can heal from their past traumas.
Learn About the Child’s Culture
In transracial adoptions, you should learn about the child’s culture to help him or her have pride in the culture and background. You could also connect with adults who have the same race and/or culture as the child you’re adopting. They may help you understand the culture and gently guide you if you get something wrong.
Incorporate aspects of your new child’s culture into the upbringing. This can include holidays and traditions from the home country. You’ll find it fun to learn about and experience another culture while raising your child.
Read Books and Listen to Podcasts on Parenting
The more you learn, the more confidence you’ll have in your parenting abilities. Don’t know where to start? You can ask your agency for advice.
Some books with good parenting tips for adoptive parents include:
- “Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today’s Parents” by Deborah D. Gray
- “Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow” by Gregory Keck and Regina M. Kupecky
- “Raising Adopted Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent” by Lois Ruskai Melina
- “The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole” by Lori Holden
- “No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind” by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
Work on Yourself
Taking an interest in personal development helps give you more confidence in your parenting abilities. Consider making time to read inspirational and helpful personal development books. Working on improving yourself could help you become a better parent by cultivating patience, confidence, and high self-esteem.
Having confidence as an adoptive parent often comes down to making friends with other adoptive parents, learning as much as you can, and consulting with professionals. Of course, staying on top of all potential adoption-related legal issues is important, too. Protect your interests when adopting a child by working with a New Jersey adoption attorney. Contact Cofsky & Zeidman for advice on any type of adoption. You can reach our Haddonfield, NJ, office at (856) 429-5005 and our Woodbury, NJ, office at (856) 845-2555.