Adopting a child is a fantastic reason to celebrate. It’s the culmination of an often difficult journey – one fraught with uncertainty, insecurity and frustration for parent and child alike. And while adoption signifies the end of that journey, it also signifies the beginning of another, where coming to terms with a difficult past can be just as difficult as the past itself. Thanks to post-adoption services, you and your adopted child won’t have to go it alone.
Many of the challenges associated with fostering can linger long after you’ve adopted. Adopted children all across the nation can grapple with trust issues, attachment, identity formation, getting used to new family dynamics and maintaining birth family connections. Difficulties that result from earlier experiences may be fresh in their minds as well – effects of early childhood trauma and developmental delays, to name a few. Those looking to better understand common post-adoption problems can get help on this federal website.
The state of New Jersey also offers dozens of different services through many organizations for families who’ve adopted a child from foster care. These services include family and individual therapy sessions, educational meetings and support groups. Post-adoption counseling is also available to any New Jersey family who has adopted a child from foster care who is under the age of 21. The state-appointed clinicians who hold these counseling sessions specialize in issues unique to adoption like curiosity about origins, identity questions and feelings of separation. Counseling can become an important part of helping a child cope with those feelings. You can find a list of free, state-approved post adoption counseling services agencies here.
Families who’ve adopted children through foster care and continue to have homes that are open to foster children can always get help finding the best resources from Foster and Adoptive Family Services’ (FAFS) Family Advocates (FFA). Whether it’s learning more about your adoption subsidy, getting help navigating a complex state program or looking for new ways to improve your adopted child’s future, FAFS’ FFAs can point you in the right direction. FAFS’ privately funded programs for foster, adoptive and kinship children can also be a great self-esteem booster for adopted children struggling to fit in with their new families. Programs include A Holiday Celebration for Every Child, the Private Scholarship Program and Dreamers & Believers. Each is designed to help make life a little easier for foster, adoptive and kinship children, as well as the families that support them.
Post-adoption services can help you and your adopted child start off a long journey together on the right foot. Reach out to your FFA today to learn more.