Parenting Special Situations - Part One

Nov 22 09:49 2016 Sally Michener Print This Article

This article covers topics such as: Parenting the Adopted Baby, Consider open adoption, Get all the facts, Be involved in the pregnancy, Be involved in the birth plan, Try attachment parenting, Think about when to tell, how to tell. There will be three more parts to this article, be sure to keep an eye out for them.

Given the right advice and support,Guest Posting parents can adjust their level of caring to meet the need level of their baby. Special family circumstances and special-needs babies have a way of bringing out special qualities in parents. In the following challenges, you will be shown how this happens.

Parenting The Adopted Baby

The long-awaited phone call comes. You're going to be parents, without the customary nine months of biological preparation. While there are a wide variety of circumstances, here are some general ways to ease into adoptive parenting.

Consider open adoption.
In most circumstances it's healthy to life the veil of secrecy surrounding adoption. Open adoption means keeping lines of communication open between birth mother (or birth parents) and adopting parents. This permits pre-arranging a plan that is best for all parties. Many adopting parents and birth mothers are choosing open adoption because this arrangement benefits everyone, especially the child.

Open adoption benefits adopting parents by removing the surprises. They learn more about the genetic background of their child, and they don't have to live in fear that the birth mother will suddenly invade their lives. The birth mother, for her part, is continually reassured that the child is loved and well cared for. Removing the mystery about what happened to her child helps the birth mother reaffirm that she made the right choice. As a birth mother who chose open adopting once said, "Instead of having an abortion, I made four people happy - including myself."

Late on, letters of contact answer questions the child may have that can only be answered by the birth mother, avoiding imaginings that threaten self-worth. Statements such as I gave you to your parents because I could not at that time you the life I wanted you to have" are not from a person who didn't care, and it's important for the adoptee to feel that.

Yet another value of open adoption is the realization that the biological mother could not sweep her birth memories under a rug and uncaringly get on with her life. This mature type of adoption exposes the myth that birth memories disappear. They won't? Open adoption encourages coming to grips with the fact that the baby has and always will have two sets of parents. In essence, open adoption allows all parties to tell the truth -- and truth is therapeutic.

Get all the facts.
Be certain to learn as much as you can about the biological parents: family history of inherited disease, prenatal care of the mother, possible drug use during pregnancy, and any other necessary medical or social information.

Be involved in the pregnancy.
If you have the ideal adoptive situation -- knowing the birth mother during her pregnancy -- do what you can to ensure good prenatal care. Be sure she understands the importance of a drug-free, smoking-free pregnancy. Help her choose the right childbirth class and birth attendants, especially a labor support person. And be sure to assist her in receiving professional counseling before (and after) the birth.

Be involved with the birth plan.
If possible (and if the birth mother is comfortable with the idea) be present at the birth. After the birth attendants ensure that baby is healthy, have baby "delivered" into your arms. Bond with your baby. Some adopting parents in some practices have even checked into a hospital room. They have fed and cared for their baby from birth to discharge from the hospital, taking part in the baby-care classes that the hospital offers.

Part of your birth plan that you both have previously worked out is what contact the birth mother will have with the baby immediately after delivery. In the movies, a baby is snatched from visual or skin contact with the mother and rushed out of the delivery room. The theory of this inhumane practice is out of sight, out of mind, Supposedly, this helps the mother forget the birth and get on with her life. Nonsense! The birth mother needs to be able to say good-bye.

While long-distance adoptions may delay an early bonding, try to assume the care of your baby as soon as possible after birth. Baby needs to know to whom he or she belongs. Granted, the legal formalities are important, but you are not simply transferring ownership of a package. You are assuming care of a person. Adopting parents often worry, If we miss the early bonding period, will baby and we be eternally deprived? No! Bonding is a lifelong process. Early bonding just give you a head start.

Try attachment parenting.
Adopting mothers often wonder if they will be adequate mothers. What are they missing by not having the biological boost of the hormones of pregnancy and birth? Experience has shown that adopting mothers are so thrilled to finally have a baby that they are able to make up for these biological helps. For some parents it's love at first sight; for others it's a gradual process. The style of parenting you practice will affect the way your relationship progresses. The attachment style is particularly helpful for adopting parents. Try to practice as many of the attachment concepts as you can. (An article on Attachment Parenting will be coming soon, keep an eye out for it.)

Adopting parents, both mothers and fathers, can also experience postpartum depression. This is most likely due to a combination of being fatigued and overwhelmed by so many changes so fast. Seek the support of other adopting parents and learn from their experience. For example, a special custom in some adopting families is to celebrate two birthdays: baby's biological birthday and the day baby legally became theirs.

Think about when to tell, how to tell.
Here is how one family told their 10 year old daughter how she came into their family by adoption. First, they had never referred to her as our "adopted daughter," She is our daughter. This presentation conveys to inquirers that to us how she entered our home is of secondary importance to the fact that she she's ours. Also, they had never kept the A-word a secret from her. During the first couple of years the daughter heard the word "adoption" frequently, and when she was around the age of two, with aid of storybooks about adoption, they eased her into associating herself with the word. In order not to devalue her, they minimized the difference of adoption, since children equate being different with being less. Yet, they did celebrate the two birthdays, her biological one and the day her adoption was finalized. Likewise, they thought it unwise to make a big deal of her "specialness" or that she was "chosen" since, as adoption counselors have discovered, this status may burden the child with the feeling that she has to measure up. By letting her become familiar with the word "adoption," they helped her become comfortable with the term long before she understood its full meaning. Finally, as she got older, they filled in -- and will continue to fill in -- the blanks according to her interest and understanding.

There will be more articles on infants, breast or bottle feeding and other related topics to follow. So please keep an eye out for more of my articles.

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About Article Author

Sally Michener
Sally Michener

Here at ring sling baby carriers we know your baby is precious and worth keeping close. Our ring sling baby carriers help you make the most of life while making the most of your baby's. Please visit our website ring sling baby carriers to see our broad selection of Hotslings adjustable pouch, Rockin Baby pouch, Rockin Baby ring sling and Lil Cub Hub convertible sling baby carriers and find the right print and style for you and your baby.


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