When a pregnant woman takes drugs, these substances pass to her developing baby, which usually becomes dependant on the drug like its mother. The baby’s consumption of these drugs can cause disruptions in its natural growth while in the womb, causing disabilities or birth defects that are permanent.
The mother of the drug-exposed baby may not be able to take care of her child, due to many reasons. If she decides to put the baby up for adoption, the adoption process takes more steps than a regular adoption because the drug-exposed baby has different needs than it would if it hadn’t been exposed to drugs. However, once the adoption process is finished, adoptive parents should make sure the transition of the adoptee to their new home is agreeable.
While drug-exposed children going through the adoption process may have developmental and medical conditions that are different than other children, they should still be treated with love and patience. Every child deserves a home to grow and thrive in. Below are three ways to improve the transition of a drug-exposed child into your world.
1. Be understanding
Drug-exposed babies can find it difficult to talk to others as they grow older. This can cause great amounts of feelings of frustration and isolation. Because adopted infants born to drug-abusing women often begin life disadvantaged from other children, they are in need of a stable social system.
This social system comes essentially from their new family. By showing kindness to your adoptee, you can draw closer to your child and help them overcome their ailments. Some examples of kindness parents can show their child is: being observant to the child’s needs, spending quality time with the child, listening to what the child is really saying and more. These social connections will considerably help your child transition into society.
2. Create a welcoming environment
First impressions matter, especially to children coming from damaged homes. By creating a place where the adoptee can feel safe, they will gradually be able to focus less on the stressful situation they left and instead focus on the future that’s in store for them.
While keeping your home as close to your personality and level of comfort as possible, try to add little things here and there that add to the overall atmosphere of your home. Some examples include using warm colors, smells and textures that your child would enjoy. Although every child is different, your efforts will not go to waste in making a more pleasurable place for your new child to venture.
3. Use your resources
There are many books, websites and programs to help prepare for a drug-exposed child transition into your home. The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare has many resources and topics to help on a variety of drug-related situations. Adoption Choices of Texas can direct you to other articles about adoption and the many aspects of the process. Many states have programs and therapists that can help, too.
This list has only a few ways to improve an adopted child’s transition into their new home, especially for a child that has been exposed to drugs. Feel free to explore other options because every child’s needs are different.
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