Transitioning Home as a Newly Adoptive Family: Things to Prepare For

Adopting a baby or child brings great joys and also challenges. The transition home as a newly adopted family can be stressful and post adoption depression is not uncommon. How can you have a smoother transition to adoptive parenting? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Karen Foli, Director of the PhD in Nursing Program at Purdue University School of Nursing. She is a leading researcher in the post adoption transition and is co-author of “Post Adoption Blues”. Her new book “Nursing Care of Adoption and Kinship Families” received the American Psychiatric Nurses Association 2018 Award for Media.

Hit the Highlights
  • What are some of the expected emotions for new adoptive families?
  • How do the stresses of newly adopted families differ from a family that gives birth to their child?
  • Does the pre-adoption process help or hurt this transition?
  • How do they change depending on the type of adoption?
  • What are some common stresses when adopting a newborn?
  • What are some feelings that come up about birth parents and their role in the new family structure?
  • What are some common stresses when adopting a child past infancy?
  • How to handle negative or outdated reactions about adoption by our extended family and friend set?
  • Impact of infertility
  • Before we talk about post-adoption depression, let’s talk about the joys that some parents feel.
  • What is post adoption depression?
  • What are the symptoms?
  • How common is post-adoption depression?
  • Researchers found similar levels of anxiety or depressive symptoms in biological (n = 147) and adoptive mothers (n = 147). As measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), 7.5% of birth mothers compared with 8.8% of adoptive mothers screened positive for depressive symptoms
  • Can fathers also have post-adoption depression?
  • Who is at risk for post-adoption depression? Are there ways to predict which people are more prone to post-adoption depression?
  • Does the fact that adoptive parents have wanted this (actively chosen to be parents) help them cope in the transition to adoptive parenthood?
  • How can post-adoption depression impact parenting?
  • What are some steps to take to prevent post adoption depression?
  • What should you do if you think you are suffering from post-adoption depression?
  • How can we help parents tap into their strengths to have a smoother transition into adoptive parenting?

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Image credit: Edsel Little