No matter how you decide to build a family, raising a child isn’t easy. It takes a village to shape them into the wonderful person they’re meant to be. But, if you’re an adoptive parent, you might be unsure of where or how to start building a village of your very own with like-minded individuals.
Here at American Adoptions, we want you to know that you’re never alone. We know that the road to building a family through adoption can be lonely and filled with many unexpected obstacles. You might feel like you’re doing it all on your own, and that you don’t have anyone who knows what you’re going through.
But, that’s never the case. No matter where you’re from or what brought you to adoption, we can promise that someone has already been in your shoes.
While many adoptive families already start their journey with a robust community of friends and family, it’s never too late to start forging new connections in the adoption world. That’s where adoptive family groups and other resources come in.
Here, take a look at some online and in-person resources for adoptive families just like yours.
1. Online Support Groups
Online support groups are one of the best ways to get to know and meet new adoptive families from around the world. They’re great for families who have a hard time scheduling in a local meeting, which sometimes makes them a better option than in-person support groups. No matter which type of adoption you’ve decided to pursue — whether that’s foster care, international or private domestic adoption — there’s an online support group out there for you.
Even though online groups are the easiest and most-readily available ways to stay connected with adoptive families around the globe, they can pose some important issues that we need to address.
We’ve all seen, read, and even personally experienced instances of helpful online support conversations gone wrong. If you’re going to turn to an online support group for information, please use caution and don’t rely on them as your primary go-to. Online forums and discussions aren’t very well moderated, so just about anyone can share their own insight about adoption — even without any prior experience. Before you join one, please look up a list of helpful do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you’re participating.
With that in mind, we’ve listed a few online support groups and resources that we recommend for adoptive parents:
2. In-Person Support Groups
Using an in-person support group is one of the best ways to connect with other adoptive parents.
Some adoptive families might be anxious about meeting other parents in person, and that’s okay. You don’t have to rush out and join a face-to-face support group if you’re not comfortable with the idea. But if you are, you can either start your own or join one that’s already been established. Websites like Meetup.com make it easy for adoptive parents to find local, supportive groups in their area, but you can also check out other support group directories if you’re having trouble finding gatherings near you.
3. American Adoptions Family Picnic
Our adoptive family picnics are another great way to meet other parents who are either hoping to or have already adopted. Adoptive parents from all over have the chance to really connect with one another and share advice about their experiences in person. And, of course, they’re a great way to meet the other adopted kiddos!
We would always be thrilled to have the chance to see you and your family.
4. Your Adoption Specialist
Your adoption specialist is always here to help. If you have any other questions about finding or joining a support group, tips for getting to know other adoptive families, and what to know when meeting a family for the first time, don’t forget that you can always give your specialist a call at 1-800-ADOPTION. They can even help you connect to adoptive families who may have gone through a similar experience and who are looking to reach out to someone in a similar situation. No matter how stressful the journey becomes, your adoption specialist will be there to help you every step of the way.