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Helping an Adopted Child Adjust to a New Home

 Posted on August 12, 2022 in Family Law

Kane County Family Law AttorneyAdopting a child can be an amazing way to grow your family. People adopt for all kinds of different reasons. Some do it out of necessity because the child of a family member or friend needs a new loving home. Other couples adopt because they are unable to have children of their own - gay and lesbian couples often fall into this category. There are also people who choose adoption for moral reasons, preferring to give a home to existing children in need rather than trying for a biological child. No matter the situation, adoption can be a long and costly process. Only the truly committed prospective parents make it through the process and are finally able to bring home their new legal child. However, children older than babies may have some trouble adjusting. A little patience and understanding can go a long way. 

Tips for Helping Your Adopted Child Adjust to Your Home

Toddlers and older children alike may experience emotional distress when they are moved into a new permanent home with their adoptive parents. Adopted children may have spent some time in foster care or a group home, or they may have had a difficult home life with their biological parents for some time. Some tips that may help you help them include: 

  • Therapy - If your new child is not already in therapy, now is the time to start. A qualified child psychologist may be able to help your child cope with any distressing feelings they are having about forming a new family. You and your partner may also want to consider therapy for yourselves to help you learn to adjust to parenthood. Family counseling can also be a great idea. A therapist can help you and your child communicate more effectively and understand each other better. 

  • Familiar items - Children who are being moved around often cling to items like toys or a favorite blanket for comfort. If you can, use as many of your child’s personal items as possible to decorate their room. You may have found a comforter that you think is adorable for a child’s room, but if your new child is more comfortable sleeping under their ratty old blanket, then there is little reason to stop them from doing so. 

  • Patience - Do not expect an older child to call you “mom” and “dad” right away. Your child may be more comfortable calling you by your name. In time, they may come around and accept you as their parents, but rushing this process will not help. 

  • Respond to meltdowns - Overwhelmed children are prone to tantrums or meltdowns. Your child may scream at you, throw things, or ignore your directions. You should know how to handle these when they happen. Ignoring a tantrum may not work if the child is destroying the house or risking injury to themselves. Older children may act out in different ways. Your child’s therapist is the best person to ask how any potential meltdowns should be handled. 

Adopting a child in need may be the most personally fulfilling and rewarding thing you will ever do in your life. However, there will be challenges along the way, starting with the adoption process itself. 

Call a Kane County Adoption Lawyer

Serrano Hanson can help you navigate the adoption process from start to finish. Our skilled Geneva adoption attorneys are experienced with all types of adoption, from agency adoption to related adoption. Call 630-844-8781 for a consultation. 




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