Thomas M. Gurewitz, Attorney At Law

How can my family adjust when adopting an older child?

Adopting an older child in Illinois can be challenging for many families. While your heart is surely in the right place, the transition from one situation to another is often difficult for many kids, especially those who've been in foster care for some time. In this case, Live About offers the following advice, which can help the whole family adjust.

It’s important to keep your adopted child’s previous living situation confidential. This is especially true for children coming from troubled backgrounds, who may feel ashamed about their situations. While most people are bound to be sympathetic, others may react to the information in an unproductive way. Additionally, all people must be able to retain privacy as they see fit, especially in a situation like this.

It’s also important that all members of your family are treated the same. This entails distributing chores among your family in the same manner. Leaving out adopted kids might make the other children in your family feel resentful. It will also prevent the adopted child from fully coalescing within your family unit.

Lastly, make sure your adopted child knows that you are there to lend support whenever it’s necessary. He or she must feel comfortable speaking to you about a wide range of concerns, especially in the beginning. If the child is reluctant to reiterate the message as necessary until he or she feels comfortable opening up. However, also keep in mind that the adopted child may need time to adjust at first. Make sure you and other members of your family provide enough space for this to occur. 

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