In an older article, we discussed one of the most common fears of adoption – the discovery of an unknown or unforeseen health issue. Today, we are going to explore another common fear – bonding with your adopted child. The truth is that almost all adoptive parents have the same initial fear – will my child love me?
“Many adoptive parents are shocked and a little concerned when their child is finally placed in their home, yet they don’t feel an instant connection,” says Nora Sharp, MLJ Adoptions. These things just take time. “With some patience, consistency and creativity, you and your child will slowly create that connection you both desire,” adds Sharp.
Tips for Bonding with Your Adopted Child
- As The Supremes once said, “You can’t hurry love. No, you just have to wait.” Forming a loving bond with your child takes time, says Sharp. “Don’t expect you and your child to be instantly bonded the second they walk through your door,” especially when dealing with an older child.
- Don’t forget to have fun. “Spending some time every day playing with your child can help create a connection and build your relationship,” says Sharp. “Whether it’s playing a simple game of blocks with a younger child or a board game with an older child, taking your time to engage with them in a fun activity will help build your attachment.”
- One of the most impactful things you can do as an adoptive parent is “talk to your child often,” says Susan Kuligowski, adoption specialist. “Be present and interact with him or her.” This will help to establish a relationship and build trust.
- However, it is also important to respect a child’s space. “Don’t force a relationship. Be patient as you learn about one another,” says Sharp. “Remember, it’s common for a toddler or older child to be shy when being transitioned into a new family.”
- While welcoming a new child into your home is an exciting time for extended family and friends, it is important to take time to be a family. “Allow them to become comfortable in your home, and eventually let their guard down” before inviting friends and family over, says Sharp.
- A surprisingly important step to help your adopted child feel more comfortable in their new home is to create a routine. “Children coming from foster care/institutions crave structure and routines,” says Sharp. “It helps give them a sense of control and allows them to develop trust.”
Have More Questions About Bonding With Your Adopted Child?
Adoption Makes Family is here to help! We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland. Our adoption counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. If you would like our advice or just need to talk, please give us a call at any time.
24-Hour Hotline 410-683-2100
Adoption Makes Family was founded to meet the needs of birth parents and adoptive parents in a manner that is sensitive, compassionate, and personal.
If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form.
- Davenport, Dawn. “Will My Adopted Child Love Me As Much As If I Was His Birth Mom?” Creating a Family, 2 Apr. 2018, creatingafamily.org/adoption-category/will-my-adopted-child-love-me-as-much-as-if-i-was-his-birth-mom/.
- Kuligowski, Susan. “5 Ways to Create a Strong Bond With Your Adopted Child.” Adoption.com, adoption.com/5-ways-to-create-a-strong-bond-with-your-adopted-child.
- Sharp, Nora. “Eight Attachment Techniques to Use with Your Adopted Child -.” MLJ Adoptions, 21 Aug. 2014, www.mljadoptions.com/blog/eight-attachment-techniques-to-use-with-your-adopted-child-20140820.
- Wheeler, Candace. “Adopting an Older Child.” Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange, mare.org/For-Families/New-to-Adoption/Adopting-an-Older-Child.