What Do I Do After the Adoption Is Finalized?
Many adoptive parents feel a sigh of relief when the adoption is finalized. This means that all of the court documents have been signed, all of the money has been paid, and that your child is finally yours. While the long journey of adoption is over, there are still some things to do after your child comes home. Here are some tips about what to do after the adoption is finalized:
One of the best things about bringing home your child is getting to celebrate this huge occasion. Make sure that your friends and family can join you in celebrating the arrival of your child. Throw a “welcome home” party and send out child announcements. Finalizing the adoption is a huge accomplishment that should be enjoyed. You may find that friends and family don’t view adoption the same as if you gave birth yourself. Be ready for this by asking those closest to you to help plan a party for when your child’s adoption is finalized and set up a meal train as well.
Get A New Birth Certificate
If your child was born under a different name, you will need to get an updated birth certificate with your child’s new name on it. Many times, this is part of the adoption agency services or may come from your adoption lawyer. The birth certificate is printed as if you gave birth to the child with the adoptive parents named. It is essential to get an updated birth certificate for your adopted child.
Update Social Security Cards
Again, if you adopted your child at birth, the social security card will likely come with their adoptive name on it. However, if your child already had a social security card, you will need to get it changed at your local social security office. Some adoptive parents also choose to change their child’s social security number as well.
Enroll in Health Insurance
Adoptive children may come with a wide variety of health insurance options once adopted. They could have insurance through the state or may already be on public insurance. Updating their name with their insurance carrier should be done once you receive the child’s birth certificate and social security card. You can add them to your private health insurance as well and should contact the insurance company directly for information regarding how to do so.
Keep Reading Books
Even if you adopt a newborn, there will be things that pop up with your adopted child that can stem from the process of adoption. As the years progress, you will most likely come across situations that come from the fact that your child was adopted. Keep reading books about adoption and how to make a smooth transition to the home. Keep these books available and ready for reference when you find yourself wondering about specific characteristics as your child matures.
Talk to A Counselor
Adopting a child is a huge life change. It can be hard to transition into being an adoptive parent, even when you already have children in the home. Talking to a counselor that has experience working with adoptive families is essential. If your child was older when adopted, it is a good idea to enroll them in counseling as well. There are many things that a counselor can shed light on about a child’s behavior. Sometimes adoptive parents need that extra help in understanding their child as well as knowing the best path moving forward. Your adoption agency can also assist you in finding a good counselor for both you and your child.
Be Flexible in Parenting
Adoption is a traumatic experience for the child. Even if your child came to you as a newborn, they still are missing the connection that they spent inside the womb with the birth mother. Understand that you need flexibility in parenting and caring for your adopted child. Their mannerisms and reactions may be different from your own. Learning about your child and being willing to care for them based on their needs is important. Learn what works for both you and your child and how you can connect as parent and child.
Again, finalizing an adoption is a huge accomplishment! The journey was most likely long and hard, but having your child in your arms makes it well worth it. Consider these tips for what to do after the adoption is finalized to ease the transition home.