Why are Adoption Education Classes important for Adoptive Parents and Agencies?
After speaking with Adoption Agency Directors, I came to the conclusion that with the 2007 Hague accreditation mandates and Department of State regulations many agencies have been struggling with the educational training of the accreditation process. Some directors have informed me that they have tried to create adoption educational manuals for parents to read, others want to conduct group classes in their agencies, while others leave it up to the parents to become educated, and just provide a list of references and reading material.
The most successful post-adoption cases have consistently been the ones where the adoptive parents were properly educated with regards to the medical possibilities that could be associated with their adopted child. Because of this formal education, when a problem did arise, they were able to recognize it and bring it to the attention of their pediatrician before it was too advanced.
I personally recall performing a pre-adoption medical evaluation for a young couple. They were adopting a 10-month-old infant and a 4-year-old child. They never had any children of their own, but they were determined to adopt these children in order to immediately create a family unit. They had declined any of the formal educational and parenting classes that their agency had suggested. Health wise both of these youngsters were in relatively good condition. They had some minor problems such a positive PPD, parasitic infections, a required a few specialty consultations.
Along with the many visits for the early intervention program was also the grueling visit to the laboratory to take the blood for the medical screening test. The kicking and screaming that came along with this visit was more than they could handle. The infant obviously would wake up during the night to feed and have his diapers changed, while the 4 year old during the day was all too hyperactive. He would just drain his parents. He would not listen and was defiant because he could not understand English. His mother felt that he was out of control. Naturally, the adults are never at fault, it must be the child. I heard this mother say to me “ I just can not handle the older child and I would like to take him back”” There must be something wrong with him”
I ask, how many of you in the adoption profession have heard of such a story? Why do you suppose that the case ended up to such extreme measures? It all lies with education of the adoptive parents. If these parents learned the main reason why this child had been acting out was fear of the unknown, inability to understand the new language and loss of the familiar, they may have been better able to help him to adjust. These are significant changes to the world of these little children.
Parents that expect to adopt a child and immediately place him in GAP clothing and anticipate him to function in our society without difficulties and a great deal of effort on their behalf are in for a rude awakening.
If you as a parent do not have the knowledge to identify when your child is having a problem, you will not be able to help him. After guiding the mother on how to handle the child, and instructing her to take some basic parenting and discipline classes, the mother was better able to care for her newly adopted children and they doing very well now.
I hope that we at adoptiondoctors.com, and our new educational portal Adoptioneducationclasses.com will make a difference in the educational aspects of Adoption in general.
George Rogu M.D.
Our on-line courses are designed to educate and empower prospective adoptive parents with the education that they need in order to have a successful adoption process.
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