Remember that you're not alone. Though it's easy to believe that you're the only adoptive parent who's struggling, our research shows that approximately 18 to 26 percent of new adoptive mothers deal with depressive symptoms. . . . .
Bonding with your child may take time. . . . Remember, it's a new relationship for both of you. . . . .
Get enough rest. One of the biggest contributors to post-adoption depression that we found in our research was that mothers didn't feel rested. Because adoptive mothers don't go through labor and delivery, they often overlook the physical demands of a new child and don't get the support they need. . . .
Examine your expectations. Adoptive parents sometimes forget that the end of the adoption process is really the beginning of parenting. Because of the intense scrutiny that they undergo in the screening phase, they may feel that they have to be "super parents," a title that is hard to live up to once the child is placed. Be sure that your expectations are as realistic as possible. . . .
Seek help for yourself and for the benefit of your child and family. We know from the literature that surrounds postpartum depression that kids experience negative effects from parents who struggle with depression. Research in adoptive parent households indicates the same patterns. Don't hesitate to ask for help. . . .
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