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Adopted Grandchildren

Over 120,000 adoptions are conducted in the United States each year. If you find yourself the grandparent of an adopted child, try to understand your child's decision, your feelings about his or her decision, and your new grandchild's special needs.

Deciding to Adopt

Your child may opt for adoption for a variety of reasons. Adoption might be the answer because of your child's sexual orientation, your child's inability to conceive, or maybe your child is single and simply wants to adopt. Keep in mind that your child's decision to adopt might be a difficult choice, and your child needs approval and support. At first, you might feel bothered because the adopted child is not related to you by blood, or the adopted child comes from another religious or ethnic background. Try not to let these differences put a damper on the relationship with your grandchild-this might cause other family tensions.

Your Adopted Grandchild

Your adopted grandchild may come with a special set of needs. Specialized parenting, emotional support, and mental health will be crucial for a child unsure of their biological origin. As a grandparent, act as a sounding board and listen to your grandchild's concerns and needs. If you are babysitting your adopted grandchild, ask your family or child about any issues you should be aware of such as stealing or fears.

If you have other grandchildren, make sure you do not favor one grandchild over another. Especially during holidays, make sure each grandchild (adopted or biological) receives equivalent gifts to avoid jealousy or favoritism. Also remember to spend equal amounts of time with each grandchild, and hold all grandchildren to the same standard and set of rules.

If your grandchild is older, try to refrain from asking too many questions about the past. This might solicit a hostile response such as "it's none of your business." Also try to abstain from "buying" your adopted grandchild's love with materialistic items. Instead, fill this gap with emotional support and boost the child's self esteem.

Bonding with Your Adopted Grandchild

Bonding with your adopted grandchild will take time-especially if your grandchild is older. Try exposing your grandchild to some of your favorite outdoor activities, go on a vacation, or even babysit for your child. Your adopted grandchild might be uninterested in bonding at first, but persistence is the key component to building a lasting relationship.



Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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