Whenever possible, plan an easy and gradual transition for your baby or child. Moving slow during the transition from one life and becoming part of a new family helps children resolve grief. A slow and systematic transition allows for transference of attachment with the adoptive parents.
Transitions for newborns are typically as simple as bringing home any new baby. If you are adopting a child who has been in a foster home, or had primary care in an orphanage, institution, or hospital, transition is a very important step because your child has learned how his or her needs are met.
Ideally, babies, toddlers, and children will be introduced to their new parents with pictures. Adoptive families may have created a Family Book to be given to the child to look at it. Adoptive parents may also write letters, and have telephone conversations with the child. Some families may provide a video of the home, with the parents and family members talking and sharing.
Often pre-placement visits allow a gradual transfer of care from the former caregiver(s) to the adoptive parent(s). It is nice for the child to have several visits with the adoptive family in the place the child is living. These visits help children when they witness the former caregiver provide permission and support for the role of their new parents. When children see the transfer of care shift, with help from their current caregiver, the child’s love and loyalty can transfer without guilt.
Caregivers, and foster parents can help children get ready for adoption by talking about the new family and sharing the pictures or family book with the child. Counting the days until the child meets their new parents, visits and then moving and saying goodbye. Caregivers might also, introduce new routines, read books about adoption, and use language to reinforce the pending adoption.
Transition objects are the things children take with them from one place to another. Often, a toy or blanket these items give a sense of comfort and security to the child. A child’s bedding, toys, and clothing should be taken with the child whenever possible.
A Lifebook can help a child connect his past and present life during transition and after placement. Post-placement visits with foster families or former caregivers can help assure the child former caregivers still exist. This post placement contact can help prove further that his caregivers are supporting his adoption, and allow him to transfer attachment.
A good transition will start as a plan made between the adoptive parents and the current caregiver of the baby or child. Often, a social worker or the child’s caseworker will write a plan and supervise the transition. The important thing is that the baby or child is able to leave one home and move to another securely and with the ability to transfer attachment and adjust to having new parents.
For more information about Transitions:
- Getting Ready For Your Child’s Arrival
- Adoptive Parents WAIT!
- Transition is All About the Baby or Child
- Starting you Child’s LifeBook
- When Travel Is Required
- Transition of Siblings Anna’s Story
- From Orphanage or Institution to Home
- From Foster to Forever in the Some Home
- Toddler Transitions