Attachment parenting

Attachment Parenting and the Power of Bonding with Adopted Children

Jul 17, 2023

Being a parent is a beautiful and rewarding journey, but it can also be challenging, especially when it comes to building strong bonds with adopted children. Adoptive parents often face unique dynamics and hurdles in the process of forming deep connections with their new family members. However, there is an approach that has shown great potential in nurturing relationships and fostering secure attachment: Attachment Parenting.

In this blog post, we will explore the power of Attachment Parenting in helping adoptive parents form stronger bonds with their children. We will delve into the principles of Attachment Parenting and how they can be adapted to meet the needs of adopted children. Let’s dive in!

The Essence of Attachment Parenting

Attachment Parenting is an approach that emphasizes nurturing relationships, empathy, and responsiveness between parents and their children. It was developed by renowned pediatrician Dr. William Sears, who believes that establishing a secure attachment bond is crucial for a child’s emotional well-being and healthy development.

The core principles of Attachment Parenting include:

  1. Bonding through close physical contact: Skin-to-skin contact, babywearing, and co-sleeping are practices that promote bonding by providing comfort, security, and emotional closeness.
  2. Responding sensitively to cues: Recognizing and promptly responding to a child’s signals promotes trust and helps them feel understood and supported.
  3. Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is not only a means of providing nutrition but also a powerful way to create a strong bond between mother and child through skin-to-skin contact.
  4. Positive discipline: Encouraging positive behavior through gentle guidance rather than punitive measures helps foster trust and respect within the parent-child relationship.

Adapting Attachment Parenting for Adoptive Families

While Attachment Parenting practices are commonly associated with biological parents, they can also be adapted and applied by adoptive parents. The key lies in understanding the unique needs and experiences of adopted children and tailoring the approach accordingly.

Here are some ways adoptive parents can implement Attachment Parenting principles:

1. Building Trust Through Responsive Care

One of the most important aspects of Attachment Parenting is responding sensitively to a child’s cues. For adoptive parents, this means being attuned to their child’s needs while considering their unique background and history. Building trust takes time, and it requires consistent love, care, and understanding.

For example, if your adopted child is hesitant to be held or comforted initially, respect their boundaries while gently offering support and reassurance. Gradually, as they feel more secure in their new environment, they may become more receptive to physical affection and closeness.

2. Creating a Safe Haven

A secure attachment bond is formed when a child feels safe, both physically and emotionally. Adoptive parents can create this safe haven by providing a nurturing environment that encourages exploration while offering a reliable anchor for support and comfort.

Create a designated space in your home where your child feels safe to play, relax, and express themselves freely. This could be a cozy corner filled with soft pillows, stuffed animals, books, or art supplies. By creating a sense of security within their surroundings, you are helping them develop trust in their new family.

3. Practicing Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact is not limited to biological parents; it can be equally beneficial for adoptive parents and their children. This practice releases oxytocin, often referred to as the “bonding hormone,” which promotes feelings of love and connection.

If possible, engage in skin-to-skin contact with your adopted child by cuddling, babywearing, or simply spending time together with bare skin touching. This physical closeness can help strengthen the bond between you and your child.

4. Encouraging Open Communication

Open communication is essential for building trust and understanding within any relationship, including the parent-child bond. For adoptive parents, it is crucial to create a safe space where their child feels comfortable expressing their thoughts, emotions, and questions about adoption.

Encourage open dialogue by actively listening to your child without judgment or interruption. Validate their feelings and provide age-appropriate information about their adoption story. By fostering open communication, you are reinforcing the foundation of trust and helping your child feel seen and heard.

The Benefits of Attachment Parenting for Adopted Children

Attachment Parenting practices have shown great potential in enhancing the bond between adoptive parents and their children. Here are some specific benefits:

1. Nurturing Emotional Security

Adopted children may have experienced early traumas or disruptions in their lives before joining their new families. Attachment Parenting provides a nurturing environment that helps them heal from past experiences and build emotional security.

By consistently meeting their needs and responding sensitively to their cues, adoptive parents can offer a stable foundation that promotes emotional well-being and resilience.

2. Strengthening Parent-Child Connection

The principles of Attachment Parenting prioritize building strong connections between parents and children through nurturing touch, responsive care, and positive discipline.

For adoptive parents, these practices can help bridge any initial gaps and create a strong bond with their child. By consistently demonstrating love, support, and understanding, adoptive parents can strengthen the parent-child connection and promote a sense of belonging.

3. Fostering Trust and Self-Regulation

Attachment Parenting practices emphasize trust-building and recognizing a child’s individual needs. This approach helps adopted children develop trust in their caregivers and themselves, leading to improved self-regulation skills.

Through consistent and responsive care, adoptive parents can support their child’s emotional growth and help them develop healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress and regulating emotions.


Attachment Parenting provides a valuable framework for adoptive parents seeking to form stronger bonds with their children. By embracing the core principles of Attachment Parenting while considering the unique needs of adopted children, parents can create a nurturing environment that promotes secure attachment, emotional well-being, and healthy development.

Remember, building strong bonds takes time and patience. Every child is unique, and their journey towards forming secure attachments may unfold differently. By prioritizing empathy, responsiveness, and love in your parenting journey, you are laying the foundation for a deep and meaningful connection with your adopted child.

If you are an adoptive parent or considering adoption, know that Attachment Parenting practices can be invaluable tools in nurturing relationships with your children. Embrace this approach with an open heart, stay connected with your child’s needs, seek support when needed, and celebrate the beautiful journey of parenthood!