Tag Archives: Adoption

Destigmatizing Outdated LGBTQ+ Adoption Myths

In recent years, there has been much debate regarding LGBTQ+ adoption, particularly for perspective adoptive parents. National laws have progressed to permit same-sex couples as well as single LGBTQ+ persons to adopt children, placing hundreds of thousands of foster children in loving and nurturing homes.

Despite social and political strides for the LGBTQ+ community, some still find issues with same-sex parents adopting and raising children. The idea that gay, lesbian, and transgender couples should not adopt children largely roots from religious scriptures and politically conservative values that carried over to legal statutes dating back centuries.

Here are some myth-busting facts that support adoption by same-sex parents and those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community:

Myth #1: Gay and lesbian couples are “unfit” to be parents.

Fact: There is no evidence suggesting that gay men and women are unfit or incapable of being parents. In fact, the home environment of a LBGTQ+ household is as likely to successfully support a child’s development as that of a non-LGBTQ+ household.

Additionally, quality parenting is not by any means influenced by sexual orientation; It is most derived from the parent’s ability to create a loving and nurturing home. In a study conducted by Child Development, results concluded that LGBTQ+ parents are no better or worse at raising a child than non-LGBTQ+ parents. In fact, the research indicated that perspective LGBTQ+ parents often prepare themselves more for the adoption process due to its legal and sociocultural challenges.

Myth #2: Children adopted by LGBTQ+ parents are more likely to be less intelligent and behave delinquently.  

Fact: There is also no evidence suggesting that the children of LGBTQ+ parents are less intelligent, suffer from more problems, or have lower self-esteem than children raised by heterosexual parents. A recent study measured that teens raised in both types of households fared similar GPAs. Teen males averaged at 2.8 in sex-same parental households, while their counterparts averaged at 2.65 in heterosexual parental households.

In another study, teens were asked about delinquent activities (i.e. vandalism, shoplifting, and fighting) in the past year. Teens in both LGBTQ+ and heterosexual households averaged similarly at a 1.8 rating on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest degree of delinquency.

Myth #3: Children of same-sex parents are likely to grow up to be “weird” and unaccepted by society.

Fact: As stated in the previous statistic, children raised in either household dynamic will not have problems any different from one another. In fact, an upbringing in a LGBTQ+ household has been linked to boosted self-confidence as well as self-awareness. In a 2010 study published in Pediatrics, researchers concluded that the children of planned lesbian families did not have significant difference in development and social behavior in comparison to children of planned heterosexual families. The children of the lesbian parents were also more confident than those of heterosexual parents, largely due to more active involvement in the children’s lives in lesbian households.

Myth #4: Children of same-sex parents will grow up to be gay themselves.

 Fact: This cannot be further from the truth. Would you say that children raised by opposite-sex couples will always grow up to be straight? Absolutely not! All available evidence indicates that a parent’s sexual orientation does not impact that of a child’s. Even so, there is evidence that children of same-sex couples are more accepting of diversity in a world full of various cultural and social customs.

If you know anyone who wants to know more about LGBTQ+ adoption, please feel free to share this article!

Sources:

  1. https://www.newsweek.com/lbgt-gay-straight-parents-children-same-sex-bisexual-705955
  2. https://www.livescience.com/28079-why-gay-parents-are-awesome.html
  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130713095246.htm
  4. https://www.aclu.org/fact-sheet/overview-lesbian-and-gay-parenting-adoption-and-foster-care?redirect=overview-lesbian-and-gay-parenting-adoption-and-foster-care
  5. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/early/2010/06/07/peds.2009-3153.full.pdf

 

Choosing the Right Family for Your Baby

If you’ve already made the decision of adoption, you may be thinking of the crucial next step of choosing a family. You want to make the best decision, but you might be feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel this way, this is could possibly be the toughest decision you ever make. The best thing to do is make the decision with the information you have. However, there are three questions you can ask yourself to help guide you through the adoption process. What are my child’s needs? What are my hopes, wishes, and wants for my child? What level of openness do I want in this adoption?

  • What are my child’s needs?

It’s important to determine the needs your child might have. Once you figure out those needs you’ll be able to look for a family that can provide for them. You may want a family that is financially stable. You may want someone that is a stay-at-home mother/father who can spend adequate time with your baby. You may want the potential adoptive parents to be able to offer your child the opportunity of a good education. Some birth parents may even consider the location of the potential adoptive parents. There are a lot of aspects that may factor into your child’s needs. You may even consider your own childhood to help you decide what your child needs or doesn’t need.

  • What are my hopes, wishes, and wants for my child?

This question is just as important as the one above. There might be certain things you may want for your child. You may want your child to be raised by someone with a college degree. Choosing a family that shares your religious beliefs may be a factor for you. What type of home do you want your child to be raised in? Do you want your child to be raised by a same-sex couple, heterosexual couple, or does it even matter? Did you want your child to grow up with siblings or be an only child? Is there a certain discipline style you don’t like? It’s best to contact the potential adoptive parents to ask questions and convey your hopes, wants, and wishes. This can help narrow down which family is best for your baby.

  • What level of openness do I want in this adoption?

This is something you may want to discuss with your social worker or the adoptive parents. You want to make sure that your level of openness matches the adoptive parents. You may want yearly updates or visits. Or you may want more updates and a few visits a year. Are you and the adoptive parents comfortable with semi-openness or complete openness? You may even decide to have a closed adoption in the beginning and work up to being completely open. That’s okay too. Many adoptions start off closed or semi-open and evolve to a wonderfully open relationship with the adoptive parents. You just have to discover what’s right for you.

With decisions like these it’s hard to be confident that you made the right choice. We’d love to think that our choices come with guarantees, but they don’t. We can only make the best decision with the knowledge we have now. Weigh your options and decide what’s best for your baby & you. I’m a birth mother that placed 5 years ago and these are some of the questions that helped me. Of course, I second guessed myself, but I always felt comfortable with the decision I made and the family I chose. I chose what was best for my child’s needs and what was most important to me. That alone helped with this difficult decision.

Adoption Language

When movies and TV shows discuss the topic of adoption, phrases such as “she gave up her baby” or “his/her real parents” are commonly used. What people don’t realize is how hurtful those statements can be. The truth is how you say something is completely different then how those words are interpreted. Being educated on adoption language will help you navigate through some potentially sensitive conversations.

Positive adoption language means choosing words and phrases that show respect to everyone involved in the adoption process.  Here is a quick guide to positive and negative adoption language.

Positive Language

Birthmother, birthfather, birth family, birth parent – are all words used to describe people who conceived and gave birth to a child and their families. It is important to remember that all of us have birth parents, but not all of us live with them.

Parent, mother, father, mommy, daddy, and child – these words the members of the adoptive family. It’s not necessary to say adopted child or adoptive parent unless the conversation or situation specifically centers around adoption.

Make an Adoption plan, choose adoption, arrange an adoption, place a child in an adoptive home – these terms acknowledge that the birth parents were responsible and active in making this decision.

Parent her child – this phrase is used when a birth parent decides not to choose adoption.

Negative Language

Abandoned, surrendered, released, relinquished, gave up for adoption, gave away, adopted out, or put up for adoption – these terms are not a good description of the ways in which most adoption plans are created. These terms give adoption a negative connotation.

Real parent, real mother, real father, real family – these terms suggest that the adoptive family relationships are artificial and temporary.

Natural parents, natural child, one of your own – these terms imply that the relationships in an adoptive family are not as strong or lasting as the relationship by birth.

Keep her child – this suggests that the child is a possession and ignores the parenting responsibilities

 

Positive Negative
Child by birth or biological child Real child or natural child
Our child by adoption Our adopted child (it’s not necessary to use “adopted”)
Person who was adopted Adoptee or adopted child
Deciding to parent the child or parenting Keeping her child
Meeting or making contact with Reunion
Locate or contact birthparents Search or track down birthparents
Child from another country Foreign adoptee or foreign child
Was adopted Is adopted
Genetic relative Blood relative

Using positive language when talking about adoption will be helpful in any future conversation you may have. It will show whoever you are talking to that you have respect and understanding for all aspects of adoption.

Choosing the Right Family for Your Baby

If you’ve already made the decision of adoption, you may be thinking of the crucial next step of choosing a family. You want to make the best decision, but you might be feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay to feel this way, this is could possibly be the toughest decision you ever make. The best thing to do is make the decision with the information you have. However, there are three questions you can ask yourself to help guide you through the adoption process. What are my child’s needs? What are my hopes, wishes, and wants for my child? What level of openness do I want in this adoption?

 

1.) What are my child’s needs?

It’s important to determine the needs your child might have. Once you figure out those needs you’ll be able to look for a family that can provide for them. You may want a family that is financially stable. You may want someone that is a stay-at-home mother/father who can spend adequate time with your baby. You may want the potential adoptive parents to be able to offer your child the opportunity of a good education. Some birth parents may even consider the location of the potential adoptive parents. There are a lot of aspects that may factor into your child’s needs. You may even consider your own childhood to help you decide what your child needs or doesn’t need.

 

2.) What are my hopes, wishes, and wants for my child?

This question is just as important as the one above. There might be certain things you may want for your child. You may want your child to be raised by someone with a college degree. Choosing a family that shares your religious beliefs may be a factor for you. What type of home do you want your child to be raised in? Do you want your child to be raised by a same-sex couple, heterosexual couple, or does it even matter? Did you want your child to grow up with siblings or be an only child? Is there a certain discipline style you don’t like? It’s best to contact the potential adoptive parents to ask questions and convey your hopes, wants, and wishes. This can help narrow down which family is best for your baby.

 

3.) What level of openness do I want in this adoption?

This is something you may want to discuss with your social worker or the adoptive parents. You want to make sure that your level of openness matches the adoptive parents. You may want yearly updates or visits. Or you may want more updates and a few visits a year. Are you and the adoptive parents comfortable with semi-openness or complete openness? You may even decide to have a closed adoption in the beginning and work up to being completely open. That’s okay too. Many adoptions start off closed or semi-open and evolve to a wonderfully open relationship with the adoptive parents. You just have to discover what’s right for you.

With decisions like these it’s hard to be confident that you made the right choice. We’d love to think that our choices come with guarantees, but they don’t. We can only make the best decision with the knowledge we have now. Weigh your options and decide what’s best for your baby & you. I’m a birth mother that placed 5 years ago and these are some of the questions that helped me. Of course, I second guessed myself, but I always felt comfortable with the decision I made and the family I chose. I chose what was best for my child’s needs and what was most important to me. That alone helped with this difficult decision.

Five-Minute Activities to Bond with Your Adoptive Child

Five Minute Parent and Child Bonding Activities

As you are trying to strengthen the bond between you and your adoptive child, it is important to take time out of each day to plan little activities that, over time, can help solidify your relationship. These five-minute activities are a wonderful way to generate small talk, and possibly get closer to your child. As noted before, the process of bonding takes time. Try a variety of different activities, or get in a routine, whichever you and your child prefer.

 

Brushing Hair

After a long shower, this could be a fabulous way to spend time with your child. Who doesn’t love to have their hair brushed out? You can even engage in small talk while doing it. Plus, studies show that physical touch is crucial when creating a bond with your child.

Story Time

Every one loves story time right before bed as a child. Whether it’s a Disney classic, or Harry Potter, kids love to hear their parents’ voices while they read one of their favorite stories. In addition to building up that special bond, you are building up their vocabulary and other literacy skills in the process. That’s a win, win situation.

Sing Songs

Grab your hairbrush because it’s about to be a show stopping evening. Turn on some background music to sing to, or start your own melody, and you are set for your house’s headline performance. Whether it’s Old McDonald or Hakuna Matata, you cannot go wrong. Singing with your child not only creates lasting memories, but it allows you to channel all that energy into song.

Bed Time Routine

Everyone has their unique bedtime ritual – being tucked in, getting a cold class of water, saying a little prayer, receiving a hug. The list is endless. Start a nightly bedtime routine with your child. This helps create a schedule, and gives them something to look forward to before falling asleep.

Clapping Games and Rhymes

Remember Miss Mary Mack? Or Concentration? As an elementary school child, these games ruled the playground. Start one of these clapping games with your child. They’ll love getting to laugh, sing, and rhyme along with you. If you’re feeling creative, try to come up with one of your own. Most likely, it will be something your child remembers for the rest of their lives.

 

Building the bond between you and your adoptive child is important. By utilizing some quick, five-minute activities in your daily routine, you will strengthen your relationship while having fun. Kids love quirky, light-hearted things. Keep in mind – a little thing can go a long way.

Bonding With Your Newly Adopted Infant

Baby Bond (1)

When you finally receive the call and it’s time for your baby to come home, a nonstop train of thoughts could be encompassing your mind. If creating a connection with your baby is something that you’re worried about, here are a few tips to help build that mother-baby bond.

Schedule daily face time:

Your baby wants to see your face and make eye contact. Try to schedule face-to-face time with them. This won’t just strengthen the bond, but it will also help develop the baby’s sensory skills.

While trying to make eye contact, keep in mind that babies are near-sighted, only able to see about eight to fifteen inches away from their face. Try to hold them close to your face and body, and they will soon associate you with feelings of safety and love.

Take advantage of feeding times:

baby blog

The process of feeding your baby happens every two hours or so, and it’s a really great time to bond. Hold them close to your body, around the breast area, because it’s no coincidence that they can see your face from right around there. Even while bottle feeding, it’s important to hold them close to your warm body and take advantage of eye contact.

 

 

Snuggle Time:

Lay on your back with them on your chest, skin-to-skin if possible. This snuggle time lets them relax to your heartbeat and smell, making it the perfect bonding exercise, and a great addition to any bedtime routine.

Conversation:

baby

Believe it or not, your baby is listening. Conversation is imperative for their language development. The sound of your soothing voice will comfort them and further their trust and your amazing bond.

 

 

 

Share:

It’s important that the baby shares a special bond with their parents. But it’s also important to help your baby socialize and trust other family members. Try not to keep them in your arms forever, make sure to let them connect with their new family as well.

Your baby is going to share a special bond with you as their caregiver. Just be the best parent possible and that connection will naturally form.

http://blog.lifetimeadoption.com/adoptivefamilies/bonding-with-baby-after-infant-adoption

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/adoptive-families/parenting-bonds/4-ways-to-bond-with-an-adopted-newborn

http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/healthy-start-bonding-your-adopted-baby

10 Tips for Blending Adoptees and Biological Children Through Adoption

Many parents use various methods to grow their families which include birth, surrogacy, IVF, IUI, and adoption. Sometimes parents use a mixture of these methods, especially using a combination of birth and adoption. Families with both adopted and biological children face a distinctive set of challenges and some parents may feel pressured to make sure their children all feel like they are being treated equally. It is important to keep in mind that it would be nearly impossible to treat all children equally BUT you must treat them all fairly and according to their needs.

If your family is planning to adopt a second child or more children, there are some things you should keep in mind to prepare both your adopted children and biological children for the process. Here are some tips for making sure all your children don’t get feelings of jealousy and all feel safe, loved, and accepted into your family and home.

  1. Gather as much information as you can about your adopted child’s history. Make sure to share as much of it as you can with your child or children already living in your home.

 

  1. Educate your children about adoption. If you have young children in your home it may be difficult for them to understand the adoption process but if you have older children, teach them about adoption and use the appropriate terminology. Make sure to use love language when explaining the process and encourage your child to do the same. Let your kids ask questions and understand they might be curious as to why their sibling’s birth mother decided to place them for adoption and share as many details as you can about this with them but emphasize the importance of keeping these family details private.

 

  1. Prepare the existing children in your home for the new sibling they are about to have. If they are having feelings of anxiety or insecurity about this new addition, assure them everything will work out and your love for them won’t change.

 

  1. Include your existing children in the process and make them feel like they are involved in this new change. You can do fun activities with your existing children to help welcome their new sibling like painting or drawing pictures or posters for their new siblings or going to the toy store to get them a small welcoming gift.

 

  1. Avoid favoritism and treat your children fairly. Some parents may not even notice that they may be giving special treatment to either their biological children or adopted children but be aware of your actions and make sure you are being consistent in the way that you are treating your kids.

 

  1. Confront ethnic differences if you are adopting transracially as well as physical differences. Explain these differences to your children and stress to them that diversity is beautiful. If you’re adopting a child of a different race, incorporate their cultural traditions into your family.

 

  1. Acknowledge birth order. If you’re adopting out of birth order of the children already present in your home, take into consideration that older or younger children may feel removed from their role within the family. Take their feelings about this change into consideration before deciding to adopt out of chronological birth order.

 

  1. Let your kids have a chance to get to know each other. Remember it’s okay for your kids to take it slow as this process takes time. Don’t make your kids feel like they must rush this transition.

 

  1. Incorporate regular family meetings to give everyone a chance to feel heard. It makes for a healthy and happy family when you keep the channels of communication open with everyone in your home and can make all the difference during a big transition like this. Make sure you are taking the time out to listen to your children individually.

 

  1. Talk to a social worker, family counselor, or adoption specialist if your family is having difficulties with this new transition. You don’t have to go through this alone and if your children especially are having a tough time adjusting and are acting out, it might be a promising idea to ask a professional for help.

 

If a new child is entering your family, be honest and fair with all your children. This will ensure a solid foundation for your blended family. When all is said and done, a positive attitude goes a long way and your responses as a parent should reassure all your children that they are all simply your children – whether adopted or biological. Celebrate your blended family and if you follow the tips above, you will be on your way to having a blend that happens genuinely.

 

Sources:

https://adoption-beyond.org/the-blended-family/

https://www.popsugar.com/moms/5-Tips-Blending-Two-Families-One-Home-27334568

https://creatingafamily.org/adoption-category/top-ten-tips-for-blending-children-by-birth-and-adoption/

http://www.americanadoptions.com/adopt/raising_adopted_and_biological_children