Establishing a bond with your child as an adoptive parent can have many ups and downs. Adoptive parents may be wondering how to develop a healthy, strong relationship with them. It is possible to develop a bond with the adoptee, and there are specific steps you can take to ensure a healthy, strong relationship with your child.
Acknowledging The Loss The Child Has Experienced
Adopted children may feel alone at times; they may wonder why their birth family chose not to parent them. Adoptees oftentimes experience anxiety and grief as a result. In order to establish a bond, the child’s feelings should be acknowledged and heard by all members of the adoptive family. Some may think that because a child has already experienced loss, then they are unable to develop any new bonds; this is not true. Children are often still able to experience love with their adoptive family.
Spending Quality Time With Your Child
The early developmental stages are critical for both you and your child to develop a strong relationship. It is important to be there for your child for all their “firsts” milestones. Examples include, reading a book together, playing outside together, and talking with your child.
How to Respond if Your Child Rejects You
Even children who are adopted at a young age can still reject new relationships. Oftentimes after a child is born and in between when they arrive at their new home, they may not have had a regular caretaker. Due to loss of this aspect of development, the child may reject their new family at first. The adoptive family may feel that they are to blame; it is not their fault, though.
One way in which you can help your child is to try to imagine what they are thinking or feeling and how it is difficult for them to explain it. Another way the adoptive family can help their new child feel comfortable is to bring along a familiar stuffed animal, clothing, or a photo.
Talking to Your Adoptee About Their Adoption
It is okay to talk to your child about their adoption when they begin to ask questions. If you have access to photos of them with their birth family, consider creating a photo album of their previous life to reflect back on. Open adoption relationships are a great and healthy way to maintain relationships with your child’s birth family and stay connected. In some cases, the birth parents may not want an open adoption; if this is the case, you can still share information about your child’s birth family.
As an adoptive parent, you can comfort your child by reminding them that their birth parents loved them very much, and their birth parents’ decision to place them for adoption was in their child’s best interest.
Each and Every Bond Takes Time to Develop
Establishing any bond takes time, especially adoptive parent and adoptee bonds. While it may be frustrating at times, consider these ways in which you can provide comfort to your child. Additionally, ponder reviewing resources on this topic as well as attending adoptive parent support groups.