Here are our top eight tips for smoothly integrating children adopted through kinship adoption into your family.
- Get Educated. Adoptive parenting is different from parenting kids from birth. Not worse, not better, but different. Parents who adopt a niece, nephew, or grandchild need the same preparation as other adoptive parents. We have a ton of resources at Adoption A-Z Resource Guide.
- Seek Expertise. You will need to find an adoption attorney or adoption agency to help you navigate through a kinship adoption. We have a great free multimedia guide to help you-Creating a Family’s Multimedia Guide on Choosing an Adoption Agency or Attorney. Make sure to ask whomever you hire how many kinship adoptions they do each year in your state.
- Keep the focus on the child and what is in the child’s best interest as you navigate the post adoption relationships in your family. This is sometimes easier said than done, so spend time pre-adoption talking with your extended family members about what you think is best for the child.
- Have a written openness adoption agreement in place before the adoption is finalized. Include things such as the type of contact both the adoptive parents and birth parents want, how often, etc.
- Familiarize yourself with the very detailed definition of “orphan” to make certain the child is available for adoption, if doing an international kinship adoption.
- Do not try to adopt the child on your own in the country of her birth for international kinship adoptions. You need to work first with an adoption agency in the US accredited under the Hague Treaty. Contact the Council on Accreditation to get a list of adoption agencies that handle kinship adoptions.
- Understand dynamics of blending children by birth and adoption. If you have children already in your family, spend some time understanding the impact of combining adopted kids with bio kids. Creating a Family has many resources on our Blended Family section, including our Top Ten Tips for Blending Children by Adoption and Birth and Should You Combine Bio Kids and Adopted Kids in the Same Family?
- Listen to this really great Creating a Family interview with three experts on kinship adoptions.
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