Tips on Successfully Transitioning an Adopted Child to the Family

Did you know there are almost 400,000 children living just in the United States without a permanent family? A little more than 100,000 of these children are eligible to be adopted, but roughly 32 percent of them will spend more than three years in the foster care system before being adopted.

Adoption is a beautiful way to pull these children out of the foster care system and into a forever home. It is a way to give children a life they would have never had otherwise. It is also a way for people who are incapable of having children for medical reasons to still bring a child into their lives if they want to.

Whether you already have children in the home or not, transitioning an adopted child into the family is never an easy task. However, it is not an impossible one either. Fortunately, there are tons of things you can do to make the transition easier for you, your family, and your new child.

Be Prepared to Play the Waiting Game

Unfortunately, adoption is a process that takes time. In fact, it is not uncommon for the process of adopting a newborn in the United States to take 12 months to complete.  You and the rest of your family will have to find a way to be patient until the process has concluded. You can help the time pass by preparing the home for your new child. Stock up your medicine cabinet and your food pantry; start buying items for the child, such as clothing, toys, and bedroom furniture, and start saving money.

Take the Time to Learn About Your Child's Previous Life

Unless you are adopting a newborn, he or she did have some kind of life before you. He or she had routines and people he or she was used to. Make an effort to talk to the adults that were in the child's life to learn more about the child you are planning to adopt. This can help you understand any routines the child got used to, how the child enjoys being comforted, and any toys he or she really likes.

Find Time to Explain the Situation to Current Children

It is important to find time to sit down and talk to any current children you have about what is going on before you complete the adoption. You have to find a way to explain to your children that just because you adopted this child instead of having them does not make them any different or less special. You also need to make it clear that you will still love your current children just as much as you did before you adopted this child.

It is important to keep in mind it is impossible for you to treat every child you have the exact same way. Each of your children have different needs. Just make sure you are giving each child plenty of attention and meeting all of their needs. Your family should have no trouble adjusting to the new child as long as you are patient. 

If you have any other questions about adoption, consider contacting a local adoption agency, such as A Child's Dream, for more information.