Infant domestic adoption and international adoption are two of the most popular types of adoption, because most couples want to adopt an infant. While bringing a baby home is a wonderful way to create your forever family, there are also many advantages to older child adoption. These adoptions, which usually take place through the foster care system, provide you with a unique opportunity to transform the lives of children who are at risk for long-term social and emotional struggles. Following are four of the most important benefits that older child adoption offers you and these children.
One deterrent to adoption for some couples is the cost of certain types of adoption. For instance, infant domestic adoption and international adoption can cost tens of thousands of dollars. On the other hand, older child adoption tends to be less affordable, making it a manageable prospect for almost all adoptive families in San Antonio, TX, and elsewhere. In fact, while adopting an older child may cost a few thousand dollars, a great many of these adoptions cost considerably less.
For families who do face expenses related to adoption out of the foster care system, the government provides federal tax credits to assist with those costs. In addition, special needs children in the foster care system can receive financial assistance through the Adoption Assistance Program, and other subsidies are available for foster care adoptions.
There are currently more than 100,000 children in the foster care system waiting to be adopted by loving families. On the other hand, there were only about 50,000 adoptions out of the foster care system in 2013. The result is that there are far more foster children needing loving adoptive homes than there are families ready to adopt them.
The result of these statistics is that the wait time to adopt an older child is shorter than that for other types of adoption. For instance, the wait time for an international adoption can be upwards of two years, while anyone considering adoption in San Antonio of older children can expect a wait time of only 12-18 months. These families must first complete a 30-hour course and a home study, but even with this requirement can expect to bring their older child home faster than if they had adopted an infant.
Another benefit of older child adoption is the fact that the child can express him or herself. This ability allows the child to play a role in their own adoption (i.e. by expressing their own desires and preferences once they join your family). Being able to communicate with and accommodate your adoptive child allows you and them to forge a strong parent-child bond.
The older child’s ability to express itself also enables you to provide them with the care they need to work through the questions and grief that often accompany adoption. It can also enable them to process any trauma they experienced before joining your family. For instance, an older child can immediately begin to benefit from post adoption services and counseling provided by the adoption agency
Finally, an older child’s ability to understand his or her circumstances and express him or herself may assist you and them in adjusting to the adoption. Infants have no recollection of their time before adoption, and, as they grow older, may suffer from grief and frustration as they try to comprehend why their birth family placed them for adoption. Older children, on the other hand, are generally more capable of understanding that their birth family is unable to care for them.
This ability to understand their circumstances and express themselves does not eliminate the emotional issues, distress, or trauma they may need to work through once they join your family. However, it does make it easier to understand what they are thinking and feeling, get them the help they need, and walk with them through the bonding process that occurs after adoption.
Finally, older child adoption brings the advantage of more information about a child’s past. In addition, the child is generally aware of this information. Other types of adoption may provide you with less information about the child you adopt, making it difficult for you to answer your child’s questions down the road.
Older child adoption, on the other hand, tends to bring with it more information about a child’s past, this awareness may mean that you will need to do less explaining about what adoption is. In addition, it means that you have more information available to use when making medical decisions for your child, helping them deal with past trauma, or answering their questions about their birth parents and their past.
Making an older child part of your forever family may not have been in your original adoption plans. However, this type of adoption offers you the chance to change the life of a child who has been waiting in foster care for a family to call its own. The process’ lower cost and shorter wait time, combined with the child’s ability to express themselves and the greater availability of information about their past also make this type of adoption an appealing way to create your forever family.