Seven tips to prepare for adopting a child
Adopting a child can be one of the most selfless acts a person can take, however, this doesn’t mean that isn’t overwhelming for both the adoptee and the adoptive parent(s). In preparation for parenthood, you should consider the following tips below.
Adopting a child is usually a very lengthy process and there may be a few bumps in the road. You will have to be prepared to wait before you can officially welcome your child into your home. You should use this time to seek advice from professionals in adoption services if you have any questions, prepare your child’s room and chat with your support system regularly.
Find out about your child’s background
Take the time to understand the environment in which your child grew up to understand their habits and behaviours. If your child has previously lived with foster parents, it’s always worth talking to them to get a greater understanding of the child’s personality and outlook on life. If you’re adopting a younger child, you could talk to the adoption agency to understand things such as how they sleep, what toys they enjoy playing with and so on.
Get professional help
To assist you with any court hearings or procedures it’s essential you get expert help from specialist Family Law solicitors, who will be able to help you through every step of the adoption process.
Having a solicitor by your side during the process means you will always be provided with the best advice to suit your individual case needs, as well as being there to fight for your case if the situation requires it.
Find your support system
From the very start of your adoption journey, you should establish who will be your support system, whether it be parents, siblings, friends or even external help through adoption groups.
Gaining another family member is an adjustment process, so it’s important you have people around you who will be there to support you through every step of the process.
Help your child adjust
A child’s first few months with you may be difficult. They will still be getting used to new people and new environments which they’ve never experienced before. If you’re adopting an older child, you could send them care packages with a picture of your family, some of your favourite treats, toys and even things from your home such as blankets or pillows.
This will help the child to become acclimated to scents in your home and allow them to get a sense of your personality too!
Create a bond early on
Ideally, if you have adopted a newborn or a toddler, you should keep them as close to you as possible during the first few months of the adoption in order to create a bond.
This can be as simple as being the first face the child sees waking up, spending time playing with them, encouraging fun learning and allowing them to recognise your voice easily.
Be kind to yourself
Taking care of a new child can be stressful, and it does require a lot of patience, but don’t let your dedication to a new family member get in the way of your self-care.
If you are in a couple, take turns to care for the child whilst the other care for themselves for an hour or so. Remember your support system is always there for you too.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to make a plan of action before your child comes home. Remember, it is hard work to look after a new child no matter what age they are, so cut yourself some slack during the adjustment periods.