Whether you are adopting a foster child currently in your home or receiving an adoptive placement for a child who is living in another foster home, making the transition from foster care child to adopted child can be tough on kids. It impacts them emotionally as well as physically. Adoptive and foster parents need to be aware of potential issues and work to make the transition smooth. Here are a few ways you can accomplish this change in a positive way.
1. Talk to the Kids
One of the most important things you can do is to talk to the foster children if you’re the foster parent. Help young children understand what it means to be adopted. Older kids may have questions about their biological parents as well as what it will mean to have adoptive parents. They may feel torn because they are losing one family to gain another. Talk to them and help them feel comfortable talking to you about their feelings and fears.
2. Plan for Pre-Placement Visits
If you’re adopting a child who is living with another foster family, you may need to plan to visit with the child before you take him/her home to live with you. Set up meetings with the foster family either at your home, their home or another location. You may do this through a caseworker, but it’s an important part of the transition period. The number of visits will vary based on the child’s age and other factors, but it shouldn’t be overlooked.
3. Talk to the Foster Family
Even if the child is an infant and few pre-placement visits are needed, it’s important that you talk to the foster family. They can provide information about the child, their likes and dislikes, routines and other things that can help make the transition easier for everyone. The more you know about a child’s background, the less stress the change will be for your child and for you.
4. Create a Book of The Child’s History
Foster families can help in this time by creating a book about the child. Many agencies and caseworkers require a storybook for the child to help them develop a sense of history. Make sure the book is updated and includes details about their life in foster care as well as any other information you may have learned. Not only will the book be important to the adoptive parents, but it will give the child a sense of history as well.
5. Find Adoption Resources
You should learn about any adoption resources available to you. This not only includes any financial help, such as benefits for adoption assistance, but groups designed for adopted children to help your new family member feel more at ease. There are often special events dedicated to adoptive families which will make a child realize they aren’t alone.
Read the rest of the tips at Adoption.com