It makes no difference if you are adopting a domestic newborn, international, or a special needs, older or waiting child. All parents need to establish a strong support system and adoptive parents do not have 9 months of pregnancy or have the same access and support as a biological parent might.
During a pregnancy extended family knows what to expect and when. While waiting to become adoptive parents there are few obvious signs that your family is about to grow. When adding children the old fashion way mothers have the chance to interview and pick pediatricians and generally health insurance is a simple process. Pregnant moms may take a class or find themselves connecting with other soon-to-be moms and form friendships with others who have something in common.
For some reason a mom has hormones that help her to ‘feel’ maternal even if they are annoying and sometimes cause emotional mood swings. Some of these hormones help mothers prepare for the arrival of the new baby. Adoptive parents are not one moment and are parents the next without our bodies changing at all. Our situation is emotional and clinical at the same time.
As pre-adoptive parents there are some things that can be done to get ready for the big moment besides the home study paper work and training. One of the most important things is to establish a support system. Depending on the age of the child to be joining the family several things need to be considered. For example a family adopting an newborn infant will need to establish much the same support system as the average expecting parents and face fewer social and family issues as those adopting internationally or a child from the foster care system.
This series of articles will address establishing a support system for new adoptive parents and families.
- Always Be Prepared.
- Safety and Emergency Planning.
- Educating Extended Family.
- Organizing Paperwork and Information.
- Finalization and Other Legal Issues