Ten Ways to Help

Ideas on how to offer support to a friend in the adoption process

Dreena Melea Tischler April 30, 2014
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Do you have a family member or friend who is trying to adopt through a Foster-Adopt program? Here are a few ways you can be of help:

During the Waiting Times

  • Be a friend. Be someone your friend can vent their fears and frustrations to. Waiting is hard. They don’t need advice nearly so much as they need compassion. Open your heart and your ears.
  • Do not tell an infertile friend about how lucky they are to get to skip labor and delivery. Women long to experience giving birth; it’s somehow a part of who we are. We know it hurts, but we still wish we could go through it.
  • Educate yourself about adoption and foster care. It is so helpful to talk to friends who have a level of understanding about what you are attempting.

When a foster placement arrives:

  • Offer to make a trip to the grocery or discount store.
  • Bring an evening meal, or arrange a care calendar for the first two weeks. It is can be discombobulating for the new foster child and they need a lot of one-on-one attention. Feeding the family can really help.
  • Please do not ask, “Do you get to keep this one?” They may not know that right away.
  • Understand that they may not want a lot of people in the house while they are trying to help this child attach to them. Foster and adoptive placements alike need to attach to their caregivers.
  • Ask what size clothes or what type of toys the family needs and clean your closets. Foster kids usually come with very few possessions.
  • Find out the requirements to be a babysitter for your friend’s foster child(ren). Usually the requirements are few, like a background check and a CPR class. A friend who can watch a foster child a couple of hours can be a lifesaver.
  • Be willing to listen without judgment; be a secret-keeper. Your friends will need someone to talk to about their child(ren), but they also have to respect that child’s right to privacy.
  • Sometimes the best help is a quiet, heartfelt hug or a note saying, “You’re doing a great job!”

Thanks for caring enough to want to help.  The adoptive family is lucky to have you!

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Dreena Melea Tischler

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