As a foster parent, sometimes you have the opportunity to adopt the children that you grew close to. While this can be an incredible time, it can also be a complicated one.
If you are in the process of adopting foster children, the Children’s Bureau has some advice on how to help children transition to adoption.
Do not expect all children to act with relief. While some children will feel relief that you chose to adopt them, others may also feel a sense of loss for their biological family. Children need to know that they are safe to share their feelings, regardless of how conflicting. They may have family members that they wish to remain close to. While keeping their best interests and safety in mind, consider ways in which they can keep those connections.
Do not lie to your children. While you do have to choose what you say based on your children’s development, you do not want to mislead them either. If your children do not understand why they cannot live with their birth family, explain it to them. Sometimes the conversations will become difficult, but your children will learn to trust you. If your children have any concerns, validate and discuss them.
Your plans should revolve around helping your children feel more at home and a part of the family. Do not plan events that focus on adoption. Instead, focus on events that build your family’s relationship. Involve your children in any special plans. When you include them, not only do they feel like an important part of the family, but they can inform you if any plans make them uncomfortable.