Ask AF: A New Sister

When adopting a second child from foster care, how should you prepare siblings? The AF expert responds.

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Q: We’ve been reading a Big Brother book to our three-year-old son (adopted at birth) to prepare him for the arrival of a six-week-old sister. Should we take him to visit the baby at her foster parents’ home? What else can we do to prepare him?

A: By reading a Big Brother book, you’ve given your son time to contemplate the idea of a younger sibling. I would not advise taking him to visit his new sister at her foster parents’ home. Doing so might cause him to question where he was during his time between birth mother and adoption, and whether he was safe. It is too much to think about at age three. Because children have such a different perception of time, you only need to bring up his actual sibling very close to the day she arrives. What’s most important is for you to continue to have time alone with him while he adjusts to his sister.


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