Adopting a child is rewarding for the entire family, but sometimes, these transitions take time. If you are adopting a child and you already have other children living in your home, there are some steps to consider taking that may help make blending the family easier for everyone.

To help your other child or children adjust to the new blended-family dynamic, consider taking the following steps.

Be mindful of giving the adopted child special treatment

It makes perfect sense that you want to do everything possible to make your new child feel safe and comfortable in your home. It is important, though, that you are careful about giving your adopted child preferential treatment. This may lead to conflicts between the adopted child and those already living in your home.

Have your child come to adoption meetings when appropriate

Your existing child may have questions about the adoption process, and it may benefit him or her to have someone other than you answer them. If your child is of an appropriate age, consider taking your son or daughter with you to a meeting with your social worker or case manager.

Give your children realistic expectations

Avoid giving the children already living in your home the impression that adoption is a magical process that always goes smoothly right off the bat. Instead, be realistic, and tell them that adding a new family member to your home may involve a period of adjustment. Tell them the new sibling may be fearful of the new living situation and reject other children at first. Preparing other children ahead of time may help soften the blow if this rejection occurs.