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Dealing with Post-Adoption Depression (PAD)

Post Adoption Depression Syndrome or PAD is common in many adoptive couples. There can be several reasons behind this depression that are not all baseless or temporary but that does not mean that adoptive parents have taken a wrong decision about going through an adoption. Even biological parents face a similar phase as post partum depression. These feelings are not much different from any new parents and we need to deal with them. Adoptive parents who share birth mother’s grief should remember that by going for adoption, birth mother is trying to give a good life to her child and she has trusted you with her plans to be the positive influence in the child’s life.

Grieving process is a natural part of the healing process for the mother but you can strengthen the bonds of the adoptive triad of birth mom, adoptive parents and the child by doing things that can make dealing with separation from the child easier for birth mom. You can write a letter to her thanking her to give you the precious gift of your child and reassure her that she has done the right thing and she can place her full faith and trust in you to do the best for her child and give the child the best upbringing you possibly can. Make her an album showing pictures of the child and keep posting her latest photographs and letters about latest developments and achievements of the child.

Try to deal with legal risks and unresolved or unexpected issues before adoption as much as possible so that you are spared of heartache later. However, each adoption situation may have certain risks but try to make sure that they are the ones you can handle comfortably. Infant parenting seminars can help you to take care for your newborn better and you will gain some added confidence too. You may need to rearrange your work schedule and make it more flexible to take care of the child for the first six to eight weeks. You may cut down on cooking time for the first few days by preparing quick foods and washing utensils time by paper plates and cups, so that you may get more time to spend with your child, adjust to the life as a parent and relax.

Do not try to be super parents. Just like birth parents, adoptive parents also need about six weeks to adjust and bond with the baby. So suspend your regular activities for at least that time frame and focus only on your child. An adoption support group and sharing feelings with other adoptive parents can be a great release. Parenthood, whether natural or adoptive, is an enjoyable and bumpy ride and we all need time to learn to drive smoothly.

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