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March 2021   |   Archive   |   National Adoption Month  

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Developing Transition Plans for Children and Youth Moving to Adoptive Homes

Moving from being a child in foster care to an adopted member of the family is a transition that extends well past when the formal process is completed. It is a gradual process for all members of the family and requires careful consideration and planning to ensure that children and youth can smoothly adapt to their new permanency. Caseworkers and family members should work together to develop a plan to help the child or youth through the transition process. Child Welfare Information Gateway provides an important resource to help families navigate the transition: Helping Your Child Transition From Foster Care to Adoption.

There are many ways adoptive parents can help their newly adopted child adjust. Some examples include creating "lifebooks" that feature important memories and people from a child's past, enlisting the support of significant attachment figures in the child's past to help ease the transition, or planning on how you will acknowledge all the questions a child or youth may have about the process, their history, and what it means to their identity.

It can be challenging to navigate the process as children's reactions vary. Many children and youth wrestle with grief and loss and may need a helping hand to resolve these feelings and form new or strengthen existing attachments. There are many postadoption services and support networks that parents can utilize to give them the tools they need to support their children and themselves throughout the process.

3 Resources on Easing a Child/Youth's Transition to Adoption

Transitioning Your
Child From Foster Care
to Adoption



By Creating a Family


Foster Care to
Adoption—Preparing Youths and Families for the Transition

By Siegel
Social Work Today, 18(6)

Staying Connected:
How Foster Parents Can Help Smooth Adoption Transitions

By North American
Council of Adoptable



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