Fostering, Adoption and Biological Parent Relationships
How to help your biological children with fostering or adoption?
Helping a child understand why you are fostering will help them love to be part of this journey.
Often, families become foster/adoptive parents while also having biological children in foster care, known as the Bio family. On the other hand, some families enter into fostering or adoption and become pregnant during this journey. The more love we can give, the better for children and youth in foster care placement, correct?
So how do we juggle biological children and children in foster care? How do we ensure the biological and foster child feels loved and nurtured? Here are some ways to create and continue a positive environment for your family and extended family members.
Whether expanding your family by adopting a sibling for your biological child or your adoptive child is getting a sibling, there needs to be time for preparation and understanding. Be open and honest with your child about why they may be gaining a sibling by adopting children who have entered foster care.
It could be because you had several siblings or a large family, or you were an only child (like me) and wanted to give your child a different experience than you had. All young people need to belong, especially the children aging out of foster care.
Be open and honest with them about why you are making this incredible journey for a child in need. Depending upon the age and developmental stage, the child may ask themselves, “Am I enough?” or “Why do they need another child when they have me?”
Children believe that the world revolves around them, so letting them know that this decision was not made because of them can bring ease to their minds, and the majority of children will understand the need to support a child in foster care in the united states.
Be sure to involve your child in the process. Whether picking out the colors, decorating the child’s room, or finding new toys, it is crucial for your child to feel like they played a significant role in this journey.
You could also go a step further and encourage your child to attend meetings with the Department of Social Services social worker or even request a meeting with the foster child before being placed in the home; a child in the foster care system would love the opportunity to see their foster family or adoptive family before they are placed in the foster home in an adoption process these family meetings with the foster to adopt parents is so important.
For older children, it may be best to give them roles such as helping their younger siblings with homework or having them pick them up from practice. This can be the beginning of creating a solid bond between the children. The foster care program you are working with will help facilitate the meetings and is essential in a treatment foster care situation.
Suppose you become pregnant during your fostering/adopting journey;
it is essential to reassure your adoptive child that they are a permanent family member and that the child was not created to replace them. For some parents, their ideal family consists of a biological child, an adoptive child, and a child they are fostering.
Although we may think it will be, adoption does not have to create a massive shift in the family, and everyone in the foster care services will support you to be a great foster parent.
There will always be sibling rivalry, disagreements, and even a bit of fighting, but biological siblings do this too. One situation to be mindful of is showing too much special attention to the adoptive child.
Sometimes, we do this and do not even recognize it, but your biological child may start exhibiting behaviors. This may also create some tension between your biological child and adoptive or foster child.
Parents tend to ensure that the adopted child feels like family. In contrast, biological children start to feel as if they are only seen and not heard.
Your child may start demonstrating old habits such as bedwetting, temper tantrums, or even personality changes. It is vital to stay in touch with the foster/adoption agency to assist when needed, whether referring you and your family to a therapist or encouraging you to attend support groups with like-minded families. We know that it can be challenging to juggle all the changes that come with adding a new family member, and we are here to help!