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Does Your Adopted Child Feel Like They’re Fully Part of the Family?

17th Mar 2016

For a number of different reasons, adoption is perhaps one of the most contentious issues potential foster parents are faced with, no matter how well-meaning their intentions to adopt are. It is indeed a long and tedious process to finally get legal parental rights over a non-biological child, but at the same time it’s totally understandable why the adoption process is so rigorous. At the end of the day, whomever is responsible for granting adoption rights needs to ensure the child’s safety and well-being and so they must follow strict procedure to make sure the right child is assigned to the right home. That’s also a big reason why there are many decisive points which are driven by personal discretion and that may not always go your way in the process.

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For whatever reasons fuelling your desire and decision to adopt, once the process has been successfully completed, most parents who’ve adopted say that a whole new set of challenges presents itself. If you’re adopting what will essentially be your “firstborn” or only child, you may face less of these challenges. What would be a second child also doesn’t really come with the challenges a third or fourth child brings either. The big challenges start if an adopted child looks markedly different from their adoptive siblings. Depending on when the child got assimilated into their new family environment, certain elements of their earlier upbringing may also pose challenges, particularly pertaining to whether or not they feel as if they’re fully part of their new family.

There’s no other way to put it – it can be a very difficult issue to deal with. I mean for one, trying to reach out to an adopted child about whether or not they feel fully part of the family may act as somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If the child never thought of it before, perhaps just asking them about it may introduce those thoughts. On the other hand, if you take a look at any ordinary blood-related family, you may find one of the children to be naturally more reserved and withdrawn, so this is definitely a possibility with an adopted child too.

To put it simply, there’s no other way to confront this issue (or potential issue) than to talk about it. Self-fulfilling prophecy or not; ask the adopted child if they have any doubts about their role in the family and have a two-way conversation about what can be done, if needs be, to make them feel fully assimilated.

Sites like Simply-Deepolls make the process of legally changing your name very simple and if you have legal guardianship of your adopted child you have the power to do so, otherwise even if the child is over 16 years of age, they can effect the name change. Changing your adopted child’s name is only one of the many different ways through which you can try and ensure they feel like they’re fully part of the family, but what’s important is for you to open up the communication channels and find out exactly how they feel. Only then can you decide on further steps to take to make them feel fully integrated.

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