Raising An Adopted Child
Bona|April 2020
Adopting a child is a commendable decision. But, as exciting as it is to welcome them into your family, raising an adopted child is not as easy as people think. To help you cope with some of the challenges that come with this, Fundiswa Nkwanyana spoke to experts to find a holistic way forward.
Fundiswa Nkwanyana

The adoption process is long, complicated, expensive and emotionally taxing. Psychologist, Tracy Smith says it can even take up to 24 months, case depending. The great thing is that it does end, and the parents get to take their child home.

A LIFETIME COMMITMENT

Jude Clark, clinical psychologist and mother to an adopted child says raising an adopted child can be a beautiful journey but you need to know what you are getting yourself into. While this may be the beginning of a new life for the child, it is also sometimes a new experience for the parents, too. “In such cases, it is common for the adoptive parents and their child to struggle connecting at the beginning of the relationship. But, this doesn’t mean it will always be like that. The child might have different needs that require an alternative parenting style. You need to be ready to deal with this and some of the other challenges that will come. It is advisable that you get support from a social worker, psychologist or counsellor who can help give the family support.” Adoption is a lifetime commitment that comes with challenges, some mentioned below. It’s how you deal with them that’s important.

1. ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL COSTS

You need to be prepared for the financial implications of having an additional family member. Tracy advises you consult a financial planner before and after adoption. “A financial advisor can assist with creating a plan that will outline monthly expenses, getting your debt under control and accommodate additional costs for the child’s financial needs. You will also have to create a new will to include the child. You must have a firm grasp on your finances because raising a child is expensive.”

2. ORIENTATION INTO STABILITY

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