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Tips for Raising an Adopted Child Alongside Your Biological Children

 Posted on August 20, 2019 in Child Custody

Oak Park family law attorney for adoptionMany couples struggle with infertility and therefore turn to adoption to achieve their dream of having a family. In some cases, parents might already have biological children but choose to adopt another child as a way to expand their family, or a couple may conceive a child after they adopted one. No matter what the circumstances, there are many children who need good homes, and adoption is a wonderful way to provide them with a nurturing, safe place to grow up. Raising children is not easy, and bringing up an adopted child along with your biological children can be even more challenging. 

Guidelines for Blended Families

If you are raising both adopted and biological children, you may find it difficult to meet each child’s specific needs while also making them feel loved and part of the family unit. It is important for every child to have a safe, loving home. Here are some helpful hints to consider when you add to your family:

  • Prepare children for a new sibling: Talk to your children and tell them why you are adopting to ensure that they do not think it is because they are “not enough” or inadequate in any way. Involve them in preparing for their new sibling’s arrival by having them help decorate the baby’s room or create a new play area for all of them. 

  • Consider birth order: The order in which kids are born can sometimes determine personality types. If you are thinking of adopting an older child, consider your oldest biological child’s feelings before adopting out of birth order.

  • Explain your new child’s needs: Newborns need more time and attention than older children, and kids with special needs also require extra care, regardless of their age. Let your biological children know that although you might not be able to give them as much alone time as in the past, you will always be there for them when they need you.

  • Avoid favoritism: It might be tempting as adoptive parents to be overly concerned about the adopted child’s feelings and buy them gifts to make them feel welcome. However, you must be careful not to dismiss your biological children’s emotions. Treating all of your children equally will allow everyone to ease into this major transition. 

  • Address physical and cultural differences: Some differences will be noticeable in interracial adoptive families. Teach your children about diversity and explain how these differences are special and should be celebrated. If your adopted child is a different ethnicity, incorporate his or her heritage into your family traditions.

  • Seek professional help: Seeing a therapist or family counselor can help open the lines of communication between new siblings and between parents and children. Support groups can also be helpful, since you can connect with other families who are going through the same challenges and share ideas or concerns.  

Contact a Cook County Family Law Attorney

The reasons for adopting a child can vary, but it usually benefits both the parents and the child. However, there can be challenges after adopting a child when you already have biological children at home or when you have a child after adopting. The experienced legal team at Wakenight & Associates, P.C. has counseled many clients on both domestic and international adoptions. Our considerate Oak Park, IL adoption lawyers can help guide you through the legal process and help you realize your dream of having a family. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation, call our office today at 708-848-3159. 


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