The process for adopted children to call adoptive parents mom and dad

The process for adopted children to call adoptive parents mom and dad

Adoption is a beautiful journey that brings together families and creates lifelong bonds. However, for older adopted children, the process of feeling comfortable calling their adoptive parents “mom” and “dad” can be a complex and emotional journey. In this blog post, we will delve into the various factors that contribute to an older child’s transition into their new family dynamic, and explore the steps both adoptive parents and children can take to foster trust, attachment, and a strong sense of belonging. As we navigate through these essential aspects, we hope to provide valuable insights and guidance to help families build strong foundations and create lasting connections.

Building Trust

The adoptive child needs time to build trust with their new parents. They must feel safe, secure, and confident in the relationship before feeling comfortable using terms like “mom” and “dad.” It’s important for adoptive parents to be patient, understanding, and supportive during this process, as trust is built gradually through consistent love and care. Open communication and a stable environment can also encourage the child to express their feelings, which helps strengthen the bond between them and their new parents. Remember, every child’s journey is unique, so embracing their individual needs and pace will ultimately lead to a stronger, more meaningful connection.

Emotional Attachment

Forming an emotional connection with their adoptive parents is crucial for a child’s overall well-being and sense of belonging. This process, however, may take time, particularly if the child has experienced trauma or loss in their past. Adoptive parents should approach this journey with empathy, patience, and genuine interest in understanding their child’s unique experiences and emotions. By doing so, they can foster a nurturing environment that encourages the development of a strong and lasting bond between them and their adopted child, ultimately leading to the child being comfortable calling them mom and dad.

Identity Development

Navigating feelings about their biological parents and personal identity can be a significant aspect of an adopted child’s journey toward accepting their adoptive parents as their new mom and dad. It’s essential for adoptive parents to provide a supportive environment where the child feels comfortable discussing these emotions openly. By offering understanding, empathy, and reassurance, adoptive parents can help the child process their thoughts and feelings, contributing to a smoother transition. Remember, this is a deeply personal experience, and each child’s timeline for acceptance will vary, so patience and flexibility are key in fostering a strong family bond.

Grieving Process

If a child has experienced loss or separation from their birth family, it’s important to recognize that they may need time to grieve and process these emotions before fully embracing their adoptive family. Adoptive parents should approach this situation with sensitivity, offering a safe space for the child to express their feelings and work through their grief. Providing support and understanding during this difficult period can help strengthen the bond between the child and their adoptive family. Remember that everyone’s grieving process is unique, so being patient and accommodating will be crucial in helping the child move forward and embrace their new family connections.

Adjustment to New Environment

Before calling their adoptive parents mom and dad, the child needs time to adjust to their new home, routines, and daily life. This includes getting comfortable with their adoptive parents’ parenting styles and expectations. Adoptive parents can help ease this transition by maintaining open communication, being patient, and offering guidance as the child adapts to their new surroundings. By understanding and respecting the child’s need for time and space to adjust, parents can create a supportive environment that fosters a strong, loving relationship and helps the child feel more at home in their new family.

Open Communication

Encouraging open communication is a crucial aspect of building a strong bond between adoptive parents and their child. By creating an environment where the child feels comfortable expressing their feelings, concerns, and questions about their adoption and new family, parents can foster trust and understanding. Actively listening to the child and addressing their thoughts and emotions with empathy will help them feel valued and supported. Remember that nurturing this open dialogue is an ongoing process, essential for cultivating a lasting connection and helping the child thrive in their adoptive family.

Patience and Understanding

Adoptive parents should be patient and understanding as the child navigates their emotions and adjusts to their new family. It is essential not to pressure the child into using “mom” and “dad” before they are ready. Instead, focus on building trust, providing support, and creating a loving environment that helps the child feel safe and secure. By respecting their individual timeline and needs, adoptive parents can foster a strong, lasting bond that will ultimately encourage the child to embrace them as their new mom and dad.

Creating New Memories

As the child forms new memories with their adoptive parents, they will naturally begin to associate them with the roles of mom and dad. This process may happen gradually, as the child experiences love, support, and nurturing from their adoptive family. It’s essential for parents to cherish these shared moments and actively participate in creating positive experiences together. By doing so, they will strengthen their bond and help the child feel more comfortable embracing their adoptive parents in these important roles.

Therapeutic Support

In some cases, the child may benefit from therapy or counseling to help them work through their feelings and emotions surrounding their adoption and new family. Professional guidance can provide valuable support and offer coping strategies tailored to the child’s unique needs and experiences. Adoptive parents should consider this option if they feel their child is struggling to process their emotions or adapt to their new family dynamic. By being proactive and seeking additional assistance when necessary, parents demonstrate their commitment to the child’s well-being and emotional health, fostering a strong foundation for a loving family connection.


At the end of th, it takes time for the child to feel comfortable calling their adoptive parents “mom” and “dad.” It’s essential to recognize that every child is different and will adjust at their own pace. Adoptive parents should be patient, supportive, and understanding of this process, allowing their child the space and time they need to adapt to their new family dynamic. By doing so, they create a nurturing environment that encourages the child to develop a strong bond with their adoptive parents, eventually embracing them in these cherished roles.


In conclusion, the process for older adopted children to feel comfortable calling their new parents “mom” and “dad” is a journey that requires patience, understanding, and support from all parties involved. Building trust is at the heart of this process, as the child navigates their emotions and adjusts to their new family dynamic. Adoptive parents should be mindful of the child’s need to grieve any losses they may have experienced, while also focusing on creating new memories as a family. Ultimately, time is a crucial factor in allowing everything to sink in, helping the child form a strong bond with their adoptive parents. By addressing these important factors, parents can create a nurturing environment that fosters a deep connection, laying the foundation for a loving and lasting relationship with their adopted child.

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