Parenting and adoption can be complicated topics by themselves, however, place the two together and you might have all kinds of new and different complications you never expected. For example, the never-ending debate about the differences in parenting biological children versus parenting adopted children. Or perhaps the struggles one faces in open adoption as a birth parent. As you can see, the issues are far and wide and differ from parenting role to parenting role.
As an adoptive parent, you will likely be faced with questions that parents of biological children will not face. Questions such as, "who is my birth mother?" or "why did you choose to adopt?" You may also have to deal with a lot of different emotions that other parents may never face, such as the sting of normal childhood angst that biological parents are often able to dismiss very easily. The role of adoptive parent can be a joyous and rewarding experience, just like being a biological parent, but it can also be very emotional.
There are a number of potential issues that are unique to adoptive parenting, some of which you will need to prepare for as your child gets older. You may want to prepare to address issues surrounding grief and loss. There are studies that show that even infants can experience loss in adoption, so preparing to support your child as he or she identifies and copes with potential grief will be important.
Other issues that adoptive parents can face are issues surrounding the differences between parent and child. This can be especially complicated if there are racial differences or if you're parenting as a single parent. Often, the public at large will feel totally at ease with asking you personal questions about your family that may be insulting or offensive. Remembering that adoption is an educational process and that often, those asking have very little exposure can be an important tool in navigating difficult discussions.
In the end, your day to day parenting will likely be the same as anyone else's and while it's true you may face more scrutiny in public if you look different or you may face more questions from your child as they grow, the journey and joys of parenthood are equal, regardless of the method in which your family is created.
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.