If you’re seriously considering adopting a child using Pennsylvania adoption services, then you need to start preparing for the transition as soon as possible. In today’s post, we’re going to cover a few tips you can use to help the newest member of your home feel safe and supported.

Of course, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that can be applied to each and every child. If you would like more specific advice about how you can help a particular child, we encourage you to reach out to Family Care for Children & Youth for more information.

Four Tips for a Smooth Transition

Listen

Listening is one of the best ways to build trust as a child transitions out of a foster home and into yours. Many children will experience a sense of loss as they move from one family to another, so hear them out and encourage them to talk about how they feel. If they don’t want to talk, give them space and respect their boundaries.

Additionally, we recommend talking to the foster family to learn more about what they’ve observed. Have they noticed any behavioral patterns that need to be addressed? Do they know something about the child’s background that the child has difficulty bringing up? Asking the right questions and listening are two of the most important first steps you can take.

Make Your House a Home

Think about the last time you moved. The house didn’t feel like a home until you had the chance to decorate it with your belongings and make the space your own.

Your adoptive child will feel the same way, so don’t spend too much time decorating their room or arranging it in a particular way. Instead, give your child the chance to settle in and make their own decisions. Try taking them to a store where they can pick out furnishings and show you what they want. This can be particularly helpful if your child feels like they don’t have any control over their own life.

Give Them Time and Space

Adding a new member to your family is incredibly exciting, but it’s important to remember that major life changes are hard on everyone — especially children. Your child may need time to process the changes and get used to their new situation, so be mindful and respectful of their boundaries. Don’t try to do too much at once or overwhelm them with activities, but know that there is a difference between needing space and withdrawal. If you notice the latter, it may be time to reach out to a professional for assistance.

Don’t Wait to Ask for Help

At Family Care for Children & Youth, our mission is to help everyone involved in the adoption process. We offer a number of different follow-up resources and would be happy to talk with you about your situation.

If you have questions, concerns, or would like to learn more about how we can help, please fill out the form below or give one of our offices a call.

We look forward to speaking with you.

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