Coping With Adoption Stress

coping with adoption stressAdoption stress is normal and natural. After all, choosing to adopt is a big decision. Seeing the process through to the end can involve plenty of twists and turns. Any time there’s uncertainty to deal with, some stress is sure to follow – especially with something as deeply important as adopting a child.

There are two major sources of adoption stress for prospective parents:

  • Stress about the adoption process, its unknowns, and potential setbacks
  • Stress about your future as an adoptive parent and being prepared for it

It’s perfectly valid to have concerns, even worries, about both these issues. If you don’t address your adoption stress directly, though, it can become emotionally taxing. The wisest course of action is to admit the stress is there and look for constructive ways to address it.

When you take action on your adoption stress, it is that much easier to keep your attention focused on the things that are truly within your control. While the stress won’t completely disappear, you can find ways to reduce it and even direct it toward more positive purposes.

Dealing with Stress During the Adoption Process

From the outside, adoption can look like a challenging and mysterious journey. That’s especially true for first-time adoptive parents, but even those who have done it before don’t know “everything there is to know.” Luckily, there are effective and healthy ways to cope with adoption stress:

  1. Connect with an Adoption Attorney Early on

The best way to navigate the adoption process is with help from an expert who cares. Only an adoption lawyer qualified to work in your state can give you accurate, helpful information every step of the way. This gives you a “bird’s-eye view” of what to expect and valuable help avoiding any oversights.

  1. Seek Out Resources for Adoptive Parents

Many states and cities have special resources available for adoptive parents. Some of these may be available right away, such as parenting classes, whereas eligibility for others starts after adoption day. Discover what’s out there so you can use helpful programs to the utmost.

  1. Remember Why You’re Here

Deciding to adopt is a moment of truth for anyone. Even if you’ve thought about it for years, it’s sure to be an emotional choice. Reconnect with your motivations: Building a family? Showing love to a child in need? These are what will get you through the toughest times, now and in the future.

  1. Work Out Your Stress in Healthy Ways

Healthy stress relief habits last a lifetime, and it’s never too late to start. Meditation, exercise, writing a journal, or even simply making time for enough sleep can help with stress. Don’t skip stress-reducing habits just because they might change after the adoption is finalized!

  1. Put It All in Perspective

If adoption is a journey, parenting is a life-long emotional commitment. Sometimes, especially as adoption day draws nearer, the enormity of it all is humbling. Remember: No one can ever be fully prepared to be a parent – and “feeling ready” is even rarer, no matter who you are.

  1. Connect with Parents You Admire

Adoption support groups often welcome first-time parents during the adoption process, so you can start to build a network of support. Also look within your family and friend group to find parents who will be able to offer emotional strength, a sympathetic ear, and perhaps a pointer or two.

Adoption doesn’t need to be intimidating and stressful. With the right support, the path is much clearer. In Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC, adoption lawyer Jennifer Fairfax can help. Contact us today.


“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax

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