Parenting a Biological & Adopted Child Together

Adopting a child when you already have a biological child was not common until a few decades ago. In fact, adoption agencies used to turn down requests for adoption from parents who already had a biological child – and even professionals advised against it!

But on the other hand, it was not uncommon to find parents having a biological child after adoption. And today, there are many families with biological children, who want to adopt a child too – for various reasons. In fact, when agencies recruit adoptive families for children with special needs, they look for adults with parenting experience.

Read: 7 Realistic Parenting Tips

The Balancing Act

Coping with a biological and adopted child in the family is not easy – unless you are totally focused and passionate about it. Most often, parents are plagued by doubts as to how they would be able to cope with a biological and adopted child at home. Here are a few of the common fears and ways to cope:

Can I Love And Bond With The Adopted Child As Much As I Have Bonded With My Biological Child?

While it’s important, it may not happen overnight, especially when it’s an older child you are adopting. You will need to work on it. And, you will need to cultivate acceptance, love, and inclusiveness in your biological child too.

Read: 8 wonderful benefits of hugging your child

Will My Extended Family Favour My Biological Child?

Families are an important support system, especially in India, and could have a direct influence on the child. Some of them could be insensitive to the adopted child’s need to be loved and accepted. In such a scenario, it could all depend on you and your immediately family to generate a sense of belonging in the adopted child.

How Do I Get My Biological Child To Accept The Adoptive Child?

You must talk to your child and find out how he or she feels about having an adopted sister or brother around. As adoption has so much activity associated with it, you need to share the process with your child. The more your child is involved in welcoming the adopted child, the more likely he or she will be invested in the outcome.

Read: Adopting an older child

How Can We Nurture A Shared Family Culture Together?

Invest time and energy in building a bond among the siblings. Celebrate religious observances, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and other special days in your family in a way that will create lasting memories for your children. Whenever you get the opportunity, find ways to emphasize and comment on things that the family enjoys together. For example, when a guest comments on the birthday party or festive decorations, say, “Yeah, that’s our family tradition… we always do it this way” – for that would give your adopted child a sense of belonging too!

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