Couples Therapy: Coping with Anxiety About Becoming Foster or Adpotive Parents

Look at you go! You’ve made the decision to bring a foster child into your home. How beautiful is that! While this is a very exciting change for your family and partnership, there are likely lots of concerns coming up, too.

Perhaps you and/or your partner have wanted to become a foster parent for years, and now is finally the right time to make it happen. Or maybe this is a new idea for you! Whatever the case, you are in a major time of transition as you begin the journey of foster and/or adoptive parenthood. There are so many unknowns. 

Common Concerns About Fostering or Adopting

When it comes to bringing another individual into your home and heart in any way, anxieties will likely arise. You’ve committed to this process and to this child, whether a baby, kiddo, or teenager. And as you prepare for them to come home, it makes sense that you might feel a bit panicked. You might be having thoughts like… 

Image of a woman speaking to a young girl wearing a purple hoodie. This image depicts how a foster parent who has met with a couples therapist for marriage counseling in Orange County, CA may look while talking with a foster child. | 92886
  • What if I don’t bond with the child? 
  • Will they have behavioral problems that I can’t handle?
  • If my family doesn’t accept them, how will I problem solve? 
  • My other children may feel left out or overwhelmed. How do I manage this?
  • Maybe we aren’t ready for this after all…

These are all very valid concerns to have. You want to create the safest environment possible not only for your foster child but also for your already existing family. Bringing another individual into the mix with biological children can certainly shake things up. 

You’ve Got This!

As the “what ifs” and worries swirl in your head, remember how much you’ve prepared for this moment. The fact that you’re worrying as much as you are is an indicator of how much you care! And while some people may “have it together” more than you do, there’s no measure for the amount of love and compassion you have to offer this child.

If this wasn’t meant to be for you, you wouldn’t have gotten to this point in the process. The social workers have told you the horror stories in an attempt to test your commitment. And you’ve stuck it through. Plus, you’ve gone to all the trainings, read the books, and gotten your home ready for the new arrival. At this point, you’ve done all the preparation possible!

Time to Check In On Your Relationship

If you are beginning the foster and/or adoptive parenting journey with your partner, it’s good to check-in before your kiddo shows up. This is an experience you should be going through together, with equal support and engagement from both partners.

Some Things to Consider

Image of a couple sitting on a couch and holding hands. This image represents what meeting with a couples therapist in Orange County, CA may look like for partners going through couples therapy before fostering children. | 92683

We know that there are all kinds of questions and concerns running through your mind as the time dwindles down to your first foster arriving. Let’s make sure you’re on the same page before your foster kiddo comes home. Here are some topics to consider discussing with your partner as you prepare to welcome this kiddo in.

  • Is one partner more invested in this process than the other? If so, how can you meet somewhere in the middle to ensure you’re both supported?
  • Are you on the same page about handling behavior? What does punishment look like in your home?
  • What is important for each of you to know about this child before you meet them? Can you reach out to their social worker to help you prepare?
  • If conflicts arise with the foster child and your biological children, how will you work together to address them?
  • How will you come together to address comments and questions from your extended family about your foster child? 
  • What if your foster kiddo has a different color skin than yours? How will you navigate these conversations with this child and the outside world?
  • Do you have supports in place for when times get tough? What does your support system look like for your partnership, your biological children, and your foster child? Can you rely on other people, groups, or organizations to support your family?
  • Are there financial concerns about supporting this child while they’re with you? How will you work together to navigate these?

Couples Therapy can Offer Support During this Transition

You and your partner have committed to this decision. But if you’re looking over this list of considerations and concerns are coming up, let’s address them ahead of time. You won’t be the first couple to seek support for this at our Orange County, CA-based therapy practice. Our therapists have assisted singles and couples navigating the foster and adoption processes. We’ve seen the immense joy that foster and adoptive parents have experienced. And we’ve also helped folks navigate the conflicts that arise within the families and partnerships that bring a new child in.

Image of a couple spending time with a child in their bedroom. This image depicts how going to marriage counseling in Orange County, CA can help partners before starting to foster kiddos. Meet with a couples therapist for a relationship tune up! | 92701

It is our passion to assist folks in navigating the troubles that life throws your way. Even when something as exciting as adding a new kiddo to your family is happening, unprocessed emotions and fears can still arise. If you and your partner need a relationship tune-up, we’d love to help. Our team has the skills and experience to help you both overcome anxiety and worry and come together stronger than ever.

Start Couples Therapy in Orange County, CA

If you and your partner are tossing around questions about how fostering or adopting will work, our couples therapists would love to help you sort it all out. We offer a nonjudgemental, inclusive space for partners of all styles to find harmony. If you’re ready to give couples therapy at our Orange County, CA-based therapy practice a try, get started with these steps.

  1. Schedule a free consultation with us
  2. Meet with one of our compassionate couples therapists
  3. Find the clarity you crave as you navigate this new journey together

Other Therapy Services at Moxie Family Therapy

When you meet with one of the therapists at Moxie Family Therapy, you’ll have access to a multitude of services. Not only do we help couples, but we offer individual counseling services in-person and online, too! The therapists at our practice can also serve children, teens, and young adults. We provide LGBTQ therapy, anxiety treatment, trauma therapy, and more! If you have more questions or would like to get started with counseling, reach out to us!

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