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Building a Support System Before Adopting
Foster dad and daughter on a boat with their dog

Adoption is extremely rewarding, and it also can be extremely challenging. Much like life, it can be an emotional roller coaster, filled with ups and downs. You’re bound to feel overwhelmed at times, which is why it’s important to have a good support system.

Your support team may include the following:

  • Spouse
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Extended family
  • Friends
  • Co-workers
  • Counselors
  • Other families who have fostered or adopted
  • Your adoption assessor
  • Religious figures

Most people haven’t been through the adoption process, so even if your supports are willing to help, they may not know how to help. You must be able to tell them. Be vocal about what you need, whether it’s help picking up your child from soccer practice because you have to work late, or help finding good therapists in your area who know about adoption. Don’t try to do everything yourself!

Preservice training is a great way to get to know other families who are fostering or adopting. While you’re in class together, consider exchanging information so you can stay in touch and support each other through the process.

Many agencies and organizations across the state offer support groups for adoptive families. Several offer online groups for those who can’t attend meetings in person. As with any online resource, do some research to learn more about the group, and always take caution with sharing any personal information about your family’s situation.

Also remember to take it easy on yourself and give yourself a break when you need to. Schedule something fun to do as a family, whether it’s a full-out vacation or just a game night with family and friends. Adoption is a serious life commitment, but it’s important to laugh together and see the humor in serious times.

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