Preparing Kids Already in the Home for an Adoption

How can we prepare kids already in our home for the adoption of a sibling whether that new sibling is an infant or an older child. We will talk with Michelle Hoevker, a board-certified Clinical Social Work Supervisor and Program Director of Adoption and Foster Care at Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services with more than 20 years experience in child welfare; and Adam Crawford, a Licensed Master Social Worker and the Program Director of Adoption and Foster Care at Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services with more than 15 years of experience in child welfare.

In this episode, we cover:

Adopting an Infant

  • How to prepare children for the adoption of an infant?
  • How to answer question from others.
  • How to explain open adoption to kids already in the home?
  • What if the child already in the home is adopted but with a different degree of openness with their birth family?

Transracial Adoption

  • Preparing kids already in the home for the adoption of an infant when it is a transracial adoption where the child being adopted is not the same race or ethnicity as the children already in the family?

Adopting an Older Child Who is Not Your Foster Child (adopting from foster care or adopting internationally)

  • How much of your new child’s history should you share with the kids already in the family?
  • How to prepare kids in the family for potential behavioral challenges.
  • Prepare your kids in advance for changes to the family routine to accommodate the new child’s needs?
  • Creating a support network in advance.
  • Handling the transition period.
  • Different expectations and rules.
  • How much voice should children in the family have on whether to adopt?
  • Advice on parenting if you are disrupting birth order.
  • Advice on parenting if kids are in the same grade at school. 

Adopting an Older Child Who is Your Foster Child

  • Role change from foster sibling to adoptive sibling (and foster parent to adoptive parent).
  • Expectations of transition period.

Resources:

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: Yaroslav Shuraev