Adopting an Older Child: The Joys and the Challenges (part 1) . . .
Updated: Apr 21, 2021
In recent years, older child adoption--which typically means adopting a child three years of age and older—has become more popular and acceptable, both domestically and internationally. One reason for this has been an increasing shortage of adoptable infants. However, it is encouraging that more individuals and couples in recent years have been adopting older children.
Adopting an older child comes with a set of inherent risks. As with my wife and I, those of you who have adopted older children know that. For the older child adopted internationally, there is often the lack—or even total absence of—a family health history, both physical and mental. There are also language and cultural hurdles to deal with. For both domestic and internationally-adopted older children, attachment and bonding issues are often present. Many older-adopted children have also experienced some form of trauma due to abandonment, neglect, poverty and abuse. For those wanting to adopt an older child, we must be prepared to go into the adoption process with our eyes “wide open.”
For those of you considering older child adoption, I will be providing some helpful information in the next few posts that I hope will help in preparing you for your journey. According to current data, there are approximately 125,000 adoptable children currently living in the U.S. foster care system. Tens of thousands more adoptable children are currently living in orphanages and foster homes in countries such as China, Colombia, India and Ukraine to name just a few. The large majority of these kids are over age three. They are waiting for stable and loving couples and individuals who can provide a “forever home” for them. You, or someone you know, may be a just the family that one of these children so desperately need.
More information to come! Thanks for reading.