Deaf Adoption Tips by Deaf Parents
Judy and Bob offer some helpful tips to consider before adopting a child. Deaf Adoption Tips include unconditional commitment, good network with the Deaf community, and appropriate terminology.
Bob: Hello. We will discuss adoption. My name is Bob…
Combining Children by Birth and Adoption
Judy: and I am Judy. Together, we raised two daughters, both now grown. Our first daughter was adopted, and I gave birth to our second daughter.
If you are thinking about adopting a child, it is important to think about what is best for the child. Can you make a full, unconditional commitment? Can you expect the unexpected? Keep in mind that with any child, you may have unexpected joy and unexpected challenges.
If you are deaf and want a deaf child, the same as you, please know that “same” is not a given. Every person is a unique individual. No child is inherently exactly the same as their parents. It is important to keep this in mind.
Tips for Appropriate Adoption Terminology
People may wonder about appropriate adoption-related vocabulary. It is important to be sensitive to, and aware of, terminology. For example, people might ask “Is that your real child?” or ask the child, “Are they your real parents?” There are other, preferred terms: adoptive child, child by birth, biological parents, biological child. These are better word choices.
Adoption Bond with Older Children versus Younger Children
People might be curious what it is like to form a bond with an older child, as opposed to forming a bond with a baby. It is a different path, certainly, and can be challenging, but it can also be very, very rewarding.
I feel very close to both of my daughters. The process and the experience of raising them was different, for a variety of reasons, including their personalities. Every person is a combination of their experience, their environment, and their genetic makeup.
Importance of Having a Network to Raise Deaf Children
It is important to have a network and a community in which to raise your child; family, friends, partners. It is also important to feel okay about and open to using professional support when needed.
Specialized Training and Experience in Deaf Adoption
I am a therapist myself, trained in clinical social work, with some specialized training and experience in adoption. I work professionally in that area as well. Thank you.
Video description: Bob (l) and Judy (r) are seated side by side in front of a wall, with a table next to Judy.