Becoming an adoptive parent encourages thoughts about issues that never previously entered my awareness. Becoming an adoptive parent of a challenging child presents learning opportunities I never before considered.
Here are just a few of my musings…
- Why is grief and loss seldom talked about during adoption preparation? Parents may be touched by the grief of fertility issues. Children will be touched by the grief and loss of their birth parents. Parents may be touched by the grief of their actual child not matching their dream child.
- When will the topic of attachment and bonding become standard information in all pre-adoption readings and preparation courses?
- When will society begin to seriously address the issue of the American foster care system and its current inadequacies? When will children in need of families become a high priority? When will it be realized that the current foster system puts long-term stress on our schools, courts, families, and more?
- When will adoption agencies realize that parents need even more support, interaction, and communication AFTER their child gets home than they need before the adoption?
- When will schools and other child-centered organizations begin to look at families in broad, inclusive ways? When will they regularly acknowledge that families include single parents, bio children, adopted children, step children, foster children, etc.?
- I wish that the attachment field would advocate and support more research into attachment treatment approaches.
- I wonder when more will be written about children abusing parents? The topic tends to be ignored, but it does happen with children who suffer from post traumatic stress, early abuse, reactive attachment disorder, bipolar,and other traumatic past issues. Parents living with this feel isolated and unsupported.
- I wonder what characteristics and personality traits make some (adoptive) parents better able to deal with their child’s challenges than other parents?
- I wonder about the history and acceptance of disruption within the adoption field. Why is this “out” available? How do we tell the non-adoption world that adoption is forever and merely another way to create a family… then allow the opportunity for adoptions to disrupt?
- In spite of a changing openness about adoption, some families still try and hide aspects of their child’s past, i.e. birth siblings, trauma, sad events, etc. How can parents be better educated about the importance of openness and be informed on how to share the joys and challenges of adoption with their children?
- When will all adoptive parents be supported unconditionally for creating their families through adoption?
Credits: Susan M. Ward, an older child adoption specialist, provides parent coaching and resources for adoptive families. Susan’s training has focused on adoption issues relating to attachment, grief, and parenting. She’s also the adoptive parent of a child healed from RAD (reactive attachment disorder). Her website is www.OlderChildAdoptionSupport.