If you have been waiting patiently to adopt a child, you know the many feelings that come with the process. There are plenty of questions along the way, too. If you’re hoping to adopt an older child, one of the questions might be, “Will my adopted child love me?”
Maybe you are concerned that the love your child has for you will be different or more than the love they would have for their birth mother.
If you have this nagging question pop up, you are not alone. Many adoptive moms and dads wonder if their adopted child will feel for them the way someone’s biological children feel toward them as their birth parents.
You Are Irreplaceable
Children in open adoptions are often able to know and even have a relationship with their birth mother. But keep in mind that there is nothing that can replace you, even though the adopted child is not your biological child.
No one else will ever get to be your child’s adoptive parent! You are an added blessing into the child’s life, not a replacement that is the second-best.
A birth family or biological family has a role to play in an open adoption. Of course, both of you can work out the details of that in the open adoption process. But neither the adopted mother nor father should fear that their adopted sons and daughters will love them any less.
Rest in Your Role
Don’t sell yourself short or your adopted child, either. Your child will love many people during their lifetime, and it is true that the love they feel for each person is different. But that doesn’t mean that the love that your child will feel for you will be “less than” what they feel for their birth mother.
Rest peacefully, knowing that your role as their adopted parent is something incredibly special.
As the adoptive parent, you have the opportunity to nurture a child’s mind and heart and teach them about the world. You get to see the child grow and discover who they are and accept the truth that he is not just loved by you, but that his birth mother loved him so much that she made the loving choice of adoption.
Communicate Your Feelings
Just like you teach your kids to work through and process their emotions and feelings, so should you do the same when it comes to this big topic. Adopted children often have many things to communicate as they grow up, and it is OK for you to do the same thing. This is a healthy part of the adoption process.
What You Can Do to Establish a Deeper Bond
Forming a connection with your adopted child takes time and effort. However, with patience, consistency, and some creativity, you and your child will begin to establish a lifelong connection.
Here are some strategies that can help.
#1: Demonstrate you are reliable and a permanent person in your child’s life.
Depending on the adoption situation (especially in older child adoptions), your child might fear that your love is conditional. For example, maybe they think that your love will change if they misbehave or that you’ll want to leave them.
Show them — and tell them — that your heart will also overflow with love for them regardless of what they do. Making sure your child knows that you’re there to stay will help you both establish trust and an unwavering bond.
#2: Establish a routine.
Children need structure. Routines give them a sense of control, knowing what to expect. It also helps build trust with you as the parent.
So from the very get-go, establish rituals that your child can follow. For example, bedtimes, dinner at the same time every night, or weekly family movie nights are great ways to create a solid foundation of love and trust.
#3: Be patient.
Each child is different, and each adoption story is unique. Know that their bond with you will build with time. It may take longer than you want, and you may need to be patient. Continue to love them through it all, so when they are ready to open up, you’ll be ready too.
If you’re wondering, “Will my adopted child love me?”, know that your child can give and receive love! It may not look exactly how you envisioned it at first, but with perseverance, you will become the rock and go-to for them as they get older.
Are you ready to start the adoption process? Our loving and attentive adoption specialists at Lifetime Adoption agency are ready to help get you started.
We look forward to helping you find a child to welcome into your family! Contact Lifetime Adoption with your questions, and fill out our free online application as your first step in the adoption process.
Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).
Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.
“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!
Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.
I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.
It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”