Preparing to adopt a child

Adoption & Family Therapist Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT, shares the top three things that adoptive or foster parents should do to prepare themselves to become foster or adoptive parents
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Preparing to adopt a child

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Three things that adoptive or foster parents can do to prepare themselves in becoming a foster or adoptive parent is, number one, understand how your child’s brain impacts their emotional behavior and how they react in their responsive systems, their nervous systems, are a direct result of their early trauma and that is connected to their early separation from their birth mothers. And that they are acting out of a survival mode mechanism, so it’s really important to understand that stress model and the overwhelming feelings that a child goes through on a daily basis. And you can learn that through understanding the brain and behavior. The second piece is understanding that it is important for you as a parent to have your own support network. That’s a support group, an adoption, or a foster care support group, your own individual therapy to help you work through your own unresolved grief and loss, because your child has their grief and loss. And that grief and loss is only going to trigger your own. So really know that you have… you need your needs met, so have that support network available for yourself. And the third piece is to understand that you cannot do traditional parenting with these children who’ve had this early trauma and separation. What’s important is to be an attachment-focused parent and know that it’s important to be a therapeutic parent that works on the relationship and building that safety and security in their relationship, so that you are facilitating a secure attachment with your child.

Adoption & Family Therapist Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT, shares the top three things that adoptive or foster parents should do to prepare themselves to become foster or adoptive parents

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Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT

Adoption & Family Therapist

Jeanette Yoffe earned her master's degree in Clinical Psychology, specializing in children, from Antioch University. She treats children with serious psychological problems secondary to histories of abuse, neglect, and or multiple placements. Jeanette's desire to become a child therapist with a special focus on adopted and foster care issues derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. She runs a monthly support group called Adopt Salon for all members of the adoption triad in Los Angeles.

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