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If there are children already in the family, parents need to prepare them for the adoption of a new child. How you approach this preparation depends on the age of your children and the age of the child to be adopted. Our guest today to talk about preparing kids for the adoption of a sibling is Patricia Irwin Johnston, noted speaker and expert on adoption and author of many books on adoption, most specifically the wonderful book, Adopting: Sound Choices, Strong Families; and Karla Thrasher, Executive Coordinator of International Programs with Lifeline Children’s Services, and China Program Director.

Highlights of the show (click to expand)
  • How to prepare children for the adoption of a sibling depending on the age of the children in the home and the age and past history of the child being adopted.
  • How to prepare preschoolers and school age children for the adoption of a newborn.
  • How to prepare children when the child to be adopted is a different race from the rest of the family. How to prepare children in the home for a transracial adoption.
  • Should you involve your children in the meetings with the prospective birth mother?
  • If you have children by different types of adoption, how do you explain the different degrees of information that you have for each child?
  • What should you do when one child in the family has a closed adoption and the new child will have an open adoption?
  • Should you avoid the birth and pregnancy stories of your birth children in order to protect the feelings of your adopted children?
  • How to handle sibling rivalry between biological children and adopted children?
  • What are some things parents can do to prepare their existing children for an adoption of an older child?
  • What are the typical stages families go through post adoption when trying to integrate newly adopted older children into the family?
  • What to do when your newly adopted kids act out and your existing children (bio or adopted) are embarrassed.
  • How to handle grandparents who are against or do not support your adoption plans.
  • Preparing older kids who may be adopted on what it really means to be adopted

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