Planning for Adoption Raises Important Emotional Questions: Therapy Can Help You Decide
For the individuals and couples we’ve talked to in online therapy sessions, the major disruption of daily routine during COVID-19 has brought questions about what’s important to them and their families front of mind. This can include whether and how you want to add to your family. Sometimes adoption is what you imagined for your family and other times, it’s not. No matter how you come to your decision to adopt, there is often a complexity of emotions that an individual or couple experiences: excitement, uncertainty, anxiety, and sometimes grief.
Adoption raises important questions not only about planning for your family, but also about the logistics of the adoption system (for example, do you want a closed or open adoption?). In our remote therapy sessions at Tribeca Maternity, as well as in our therapy offices in Park Slope, Brooklyn and Tribeca after COVID, we help individuals and couples decide what they want for their family, and how to approach the emotional and practical path to making those wants real.
The Adoption Process Can Be Excruciating
Bureaucracy is filled with uncertainty and can bring families under scrutiny. Adoption is complicated and often completely out of your control. You are likely faced with mountains of paperwork and days, months, or years waiting for your child. Now, in the time of COVID-19, the adoption process has become even more excruciating, and for many families seeking to adopt, has effectively halted. Families that, after the long process, were ready to take home a new member of their family are having to wait indefinitely, and so is the child who was ready for their new home. And for families in the beginning or anywhere else in the process, long and uncertain delays are expected. In teletherapy and video therapy, we won’t let you be alone in the agony of this process and its disruptions.
After the Adoption, Leading Your New Family
When the long wait and all the heavy scrambling are over, you take your child home. In a way that may feel sudden: you have a new family. It can be challenging to balance the responsibilities of caring for a new child while also incorporating them into your existing family system. At Tribeca Maternity, we work with adoptive parents on a variety of issues that may surface during this adjustment, including:
- The emotional experience for each family member of bringing the new child home
- Getting to know and caring for your child
- Practical baby care
- The transition to parenting
- Developing and deepening a new family culture
- Connecting with your new child and what that means to you
- Sharing your adoption story with family and friends
Couples Are in This Unique Experience Together
When adopting with a partner, adoption, like many life changes, can be all-consuming and leave couples with little space to focus on other aspects of their relationship. Remote couples therapy presents an opportunity to focus on how each partner is working through this unique experience individually, as well as how it is affecting the couple as a unit. In therapy, we’ll look together at how much space the adoption process is taking up within a relationship to find the right balance, and help couples meet each other’s needs emotionally during the often grueling logistics of adoption.