Children who are waiting for adoptive homes may have one or more of the following characteristics:
- may belong to a sibling group and do not wish to be separated
- may come from a specific ethnic, cultural or language background
- may have behavioral, physical, medical or emotional needs
- may be three years of age or older
- may come from an adverse background
WHAT ARE THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF CHILREN WAITING FOR ADOPTION?
Adoptive parents must be prepared to provide more than love when it comes to parenting a waiting child. To be successful, adoptive parents must be patient, tolerant, flexible, energetic, competent, responsible individuals with a good sense of humor.
SUCCESSFUL ADOPTIVE FAMILIES HAVE THE ABILITY TO:
MAKE A COMMITMENT
It is crucial that adoptive parents understand that adoption is a lifelong process. They must have an the ability to provide unconditional love and compassion for children who may test the limits of the commitment made to them.
Successful adoptive families express their feelings and thoughts openly and clearly, which helps their adoptive children do the same.
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Successful adoptive parents are realistic about their child's strengths and limitations.
ACCEPT THE CONCEPT OF "OTHER PARENT"
Adopted children often retain strong emotional attachments to their biological parents, former foster parents or other caretakers. Successful adoptive parents help their adoptive children grieve the loss of these significant people by encouraging them to express their feelings and memories about those who previously parented them.
Successful adoptive parents have found that a structured, stable, predictable and organized environment offers a sense of security and protection to the child.
ANTICIPATE THE EFFECTS OF A NEW MEMBER ON THE FAMILY
Most families have their own unique ways of functioning. When an adopted child joins with the family, the usual ways of functioning are changed for all family members. Adoptive families must be flexible and prepared to make adjustments.
LEARN NEW PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS
Successful adoptive families have a tolerance for conflict and strong problem-solving skills.
CONSIDER DISCIPLINE OTHER THAN THROUGH PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT
Children waiting for adoption often have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Successful adoptive families learn and use methods of discipline that do not include physical punishment.
Children waiting for adoption usually come from backgrounds that are very different than that of their adoptive family. The ability to accept differences and cherish a child as a unique individual is crucial.
If you are interested in learning more about adopting a waiting child please call the San Bernardino County Adoption Service at: (909) 891-3300 or 1-800-722-4477