Adoption is a different experience for each family, and raising a child is unique to each home. It should not be a surprise that adopting an older child or teenager is much different than infant adoption. For parents who have or will adopt an older child, there are several points to consider regarding your new family member.
They Might Be Suspicious
It can be thrilling for adoptive parents to meet their new child and welcome them into their homes, lives, and hearts. There is a sense of glee, of awe, and of excitement when the adoption day finally arrives.
The adopted child, however, does not always see things this way. Many have been rejected and hurt before, seeing their friends get adopted over the years. Some have been through caretaker after caretaker, never having anyone in their lives for too long.
It takes time and care for their suspicion to eventually disappear. Once they begin to see that their new home is their lasting home, the suspicion and doubt will began to fade and they will really begin to open up and become a part of the family in the way the adoptive parents always imagined.
They Might Have a Hard Time Transitioning
For some children and teenagers, foster care is all they know. They never had parents, or never had parents for long, and instead go through foster parents or caretakers. So when children who have spent most of their life in the adoption community find themselves in a home with a loving and lasting family, it can be difficult to adjust.
Start slow with the transition. Give them something familiar in the new and unknown world, like preparing their favorite meals or engaging them in their hobbies. This way, the transition can be smoother. However, like their suspicions, a proper transition can take time.
They Might Be Afraid
One of the most important things to remember is that the adoption process can be a terrifying experience for the child. Some children are excited to be adopted and start their new life, but many others are far more hesitant and frightened. From their perspective, adoptive parents are two strangers who have taken them away from the only home they know.
If your child seems frightened and put off, this is understandable. The fear will only really go away when they feel safe and comfortable with their new family. Love, kindness, and care will go a long way in making your new family member feel right at home.
Regardless of the child’s age, adoption is a truly rewarding experience. There are many other things to remember when adopting an older child, not all of which could be added here. To learn more, consult with an adoption agency counselor.
About Action Adoption at Providence Place:
Adopting a child is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Are you contemplating adoption, or are you already planning to adopt a child? Do you have any idea about how or where to start? Action Adoption at Providence Place of San Antonio, Texas will guide you through the adoption process while making sure all your questions are answered. Contact us today to learn more about adoption and ways to get involved with our organization.