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June 2021   |   Archive   |   National Adoption Month  

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Helping Families Adjust After Adoptive Placement

The adoption process doesn't end on the day the adoption is finalized. It is a journey that continues throughout the lifetime of the entire family, and child welfare professionals can help families adjust to their new normal. There are many supports, both formal and informal, that are available to adoptive families to help ease the transition and strengthen family relationships. Share the tips below with families in your community to help them get started:

  • Prepare their children and home. Parents should help their current children understand what is going on and how things might change and reassure them that they are still just as loved and important. For the adopted child, parents can create a welcoming environment by stocking some of the child’s favorite foods and letting them choose new items and giving them a private space they can call their own.
  • Create a safe environment for communication. Adoptive parents can build trust by fostering a safe space for all family members to share their feelings and work together to move forward. Additionally, speak with children about adoption in a positive, age-appropriate way.
  • Establish family routines and traditions. A consistent routine can help lower an adopted child's anxiety as they adjust to the newness around them. Family traditions, both old and new, can help solidify family bonds.
  • Access postadoption supports when needed. Adoption can be a difficult process and the adjustment period is different for everyone. It is important for parents to take time for self-care, which can range from respite care to lunch with friends. Other postadoption resources, such as concrete supports or family support groups, should be used when needed. All families need help sometimes.

There are many supports available to families to help them adjust after adoption. Adoptive families should take advantage of the support groups, community services, financial assistance, and more that are available to them. Explore the following for resources on postadoption supports and information about adjusting after adoptive placement.

3 Resources on Adjusting After Adoptive Placement

Supporting Families During the Transition
From Foster Care to Adoption


By AdoptUSKids


The Trail of Trauma



By National Council for Adoption

Why Is Adjustment So Hard After Placement?





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