Unexpected Stresses on Newly Adoptive Parents

Are you getting ready to adopt or have you recently adopted? Do you wonder what the experience will be like and what you can do to prepare? Listen to this conversation about the stresses newly adoptive parents often feel and ways they can prepare. Our guests are Dr. Jennifer Bliss, LCSW and Director of Adoptions and Foster Care at Vista Del Mar and Family Services in Los Angeles; and Molly Berger, MSW and Adoption Social Worker at Adoption Center of Illinois.

In this episode, we cover:

Domestic Infant Adoption:

  • Process
  • Typical stresses adoptive parents feel
  • Lack of sleep
  • Not deserving to complain
  • Feeling like a babysitter
  • Not feeling love at first site
  • Impact of infertility struggles on transitioning into parenthood
  • Stresses with parenting a child with neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Stresses with open adoption

Older child adoption through foster care or international adoption:

  • Process
  • Typical stresses adoptive parents feel
  • Unrealistic expectations of the child and of yourself
  • Love at first site
  • Feeling like a babysitter
  • Language issues
  • Cultural issues
  • Parental attachment styles-How the way we were parented influences how we parent.
  • Challenging behaviors
  • Sibling issues

Change is stressful and adding a child to your family is a huge change regardless of how the child joins the family. What can newly adoptive parents do to prepare in advance and to cope in those first few months?

How has the idea of cocooning impacted stress?

Additional Resources: 

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto