No other method of forming a family carries as many misconceptions, possibilities, and challenges as adoption. Most people who want to become parents just go ahead and let biology take its course. But when you decide to adopt, you must put up with a vast array of nosy people who investigate everything from your income to your parenting philosophy. And you quickly learn that all the good intentions in the world won't do you much good unless you have special training and support.
Generally, your adopted child is just like any other child — he needs food, shelter, kindness, loving discipline, and appropriate boundaries. Most of all, he needs a secure attachment to you and other members of your immediate family in order to develop physically and emotionally.
You may be just starting out on your adoption adventure. Perhaps you've found a birth mom on your own and are anxiously awaiting her due date or you're waiting for an international adoption to be approved so you can bring your child home. You may be involved in either a kinship or stepparent adoption. You could be enduring the long, complicated process of filling out forms, writing a dossier, and working with an agency. Perhaps you've endured infertility or child loss and are finally putting the pieces of your life together or feel a spiritual call to adopt, to give a home and future to a child from the foster care system or a third-world country. Maybe your child has been in your home for a while, and you need some friendly, sound advice from somebody who understands where you're coming from. This book will give you tips and direction and help you figure out where to go for more in-depth information, no matter what your situation is.
You will get important information about things like how to interact with birth parents and extended families, questions to ask yourself about whether or not you want to take on the challenges of older children, emotional pitfalls and unique discipline issues for adopted children, and how to provide the answers to hard questions like “Why didn't my birth mom keep me?”
Adoption is a wonderful way to form a family, but it's not for the thin of skin or faint of heart; it requires a strong sense of self and an almost mystical yearning to be a parent.
The Everything® Parent's Guide to Raising Your Adopted Child contains the latest research and opinions of adoption professionals, but it also gives advice from the real experts — adoptive parents, grown adoptees, and biological families. The descriptions and stories come from those who have adopted infants domestically, who have gone to Guatemala, Russia, China, and many other places around the world to adopt, or who have taken on older children, teens with special needs, or sibling groups. Please note that these stories are composites compiled from real situations, but with identifying information changed to protect the identities and privacy of those involved.
Let this book be your inspiration and your guide as you consider adoption and make important choices about a child that has joined or may join your family.