There is perhaps no more difficult task that you can take on in your life than becoming a parent to children. Being responsible for children is a lot, both mentally, emotionally, and physically. But the challenges of parenting only seem to get more difficult when you are raising adopted children rather than biological children. There are just some additional conditions and circumstances that are going to color the experience and add a new dynamic for your family. With the right preparation, you can know these three challenges of raising adopted children and how you can navigate them best.
The first challenge that comes with raising adopted children is identity issues in your children. Your children may struggle a lot with their self-identity when they are adopted. They may feel that there is something wrong with them, and that is why they were put up for adoption. If you are raising a child of a different race or ethnicity than yourself, there are also bound to be identity-based issues that you will need help solving. The best way to prepare for these is to talk openly about identity with your children. The more conversation surrounding the issues, the better they will feel.
Questions About Their Birth Parents
Another challenge that comes with raising adopted children is questions about their birth parents. While your children may simply mean well, questions about their birth parents can put a lot of stress on your family, particularly if you don’t have all the answers. An open adoption means the birth parents can visit the child, otherwise it is up to the legal parents. If your children ask about their birth parents, do your best to tell them the information you have. You can decide if you want to try to connect with the birth parents.
The final challenge that comes with raising adopted children is resentment issues. Your adoptive children may grow to resent you or not look at you as their real parent. This is a very normal reaction, especially when children first learn that they are adopted if they don’t know. You should work to remind your children that you love them and care for them as a parent and will always be there to support them.
Raising children is hard, and raising adopted children can be even harder. Knowing the specific challenges you will face can help you prepare. Know these three potential challenges you may face as an adoptive parent and prepare to handle them effectively.
Check out this article on how to help older children cope after adoption!