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Tips on Successful Kinship Adoption

Tips on Successful Kinship Adoption

If you are involved in a kinship adoption, you already have a few benefits that will help the adoption be a success. In the majority of kinship adoptions, there is an emotional bond already in place. There is probably already a foundation of trust in place and you probably already “know” the child you are adopting. At least portions of their life will stay familiar and the adjustment period should be a little bit smoother for everyone involved. But there will still be challenges. If you want to be the best adoptive parent you can be, consider these suggestions.

Being a good adoptive parent (kinship or not) requires the development of certain skills.

Know Your Family: Each individual and family unit has its own strengths and its own needs. Know the strengths so you can build on them. Know the needs of the family unit as a whole. One negative opinion on kinship adoption can have an effect, so make sure to address the need to generate a complete understanding of the situation early.

Practice Effective Communication: Use the communication skills that you have and continuously develop additional communication skills to assist you as you set out on a kinship adoption. One extremely helpful communication skill that all adoptive parents (and parents in general) should attempt to develop a talent for is active listening. Also strive to provide clear messages, and use an appropriate tone of voice. Many adopted children enter the adopted family with a low self esteem – they may feel that their thoughts and feelings are less important and possibly unworthy of being heard by those around them. This makes it even more vital that adoptive parents learn to listen actively.

Know the Child/Children: Know the adopted child’s strengths. Know their history: potential abuse, neglect, abandonment, etc. If you allow yourself to know (and acknowledge) the child’s history, you’ll be able to identify their strengths and any particular needs they may have that you can provide for as their adoptive parent. It is also the first step in identifying when there are needs that require more assistance than you alone can provide. Always seek outside help, support, and/or professional help when necessary. Doing so does not cast you, your child or your family in a negative light; it actually just shows that you are being a good parent.

Build on Strengths While Meeting Needs: Adopted children are each unique. Once you have recognized their strengths, build on them. This will allow you to meet their needs without accentuating the negative. Be vocal about their strengths and mention them regularly. This will help them to build up a positive image that will actually make it more likely that they will turn to you when they need help.

Kinship adoption has many benefits, but the beneficial nature of this adoption process does not negate all challenges. There will still be rough days. There will still be moments when parenting seems overwhelming and impossibly complicated. During these times, it is important to remember that all children are unique and all parents are constantly learning and adjusting to accommodate the specific children they have been blessed with. Give yourself the opportunity to figure out the best responses, the best methods, the best activities, etc.

If you are interested in hearing more about the kinship adoption process, we would love to talk to you. Please get in touch with one of the experienced adoption lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys.
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