It is not uncommon for a family to include both adoptees and biological children. An adoptee is susceptible to feeling like an outsider, and these feelings can intensify when their parents are raising biological children too. Of course, there are families with huge variations among biological siblings, but those differences don’t create the unique emotional complexities as a family in which the child who is “different” was adopted.
Adoption creates its own lens through which a child filters their world and manages their sense of belonging. Adoptees may live with a fear that their parents love their biological children more. As a result, adoptees might interpret parental responses to typical sibling interactions as confirmation of their status as the “less loved” child.
Openly talking with your child may help ease the fear. Validate the child’s feelings by acknowledging that you understand they feel this way and that it’s not uncommon for adopted children to have these worries. Yet also reassure your child that fearing something does not mean it has to come true. We love you as much as we love your sibling(s); and nothing will ever change that. We can be different from each other and share the same love.
Raising both biological children and adopted children is a fascinating glimpse into the forces of nature and nurture. As parents, we can treasure all of our children with equal fullness of heart; however, we cannot control how they receive or perceive our affections and parenting decisions. This is why it is so important to offer unconditional love. No child should ever be made to feel like they have to earn parental love, and especially in families that are built through nontraditional means, it is important to practice unconditional love.
In the hard moments and in the good times, it is always helpful to tell your children that our love for them is always here. Remind them that it doesn’t matter what they look like or whether or not they look like you, or share your skills. Tell them that your love for them isn’t determined by their behavior nor will you love them more or less based on the success of their achievements or the downfalls of their mistakes. You are their parents and that means they get all of your love, all of the time. Encourage your children to talk to you and share their worries.
If you are a family considering building or growing your family through adoption, contact one of our compassionate, professional specialists now. Adoption Choices of Texas is here to help!