Amazingly, the number one question we’re asked about being a foster family is: “Are you afraid of what they'll teach your children?” So, what have my kids learned? To start—to be open, generous, non-judgmental, thankful for their warm home….
Older Child Adoption: Post-Adoption Support & Information
Advice from adoption experts and real adoption stories by parents who adopted an older child internationally or from U.S. foster care.
When I adopted my two sons eight years ago, they couldn’t separate themselves fast enough from their “old” life in Brazil. As I prepared to visit my oldest son two months into his “new” college life—a lifetime for any freshman—I wondered to what extent he might have compartmentalized his now “old” family life.
Today in the United States, more than 123,000 children in foster care are waiting for a permanent home through adoption. Nearly 45 percent of these children are ages eight or older—and desperately need the stability, guidance, and love that only a family can provide. Learn more of the myths and realities surrounding older child adoption.
A mother finds herself exhausted trying to keep up with the boisterous, outgoing older child she’s adopting, and also worries that the girl might start feeling “different” from the rest of the family (who are all naturally more reserved and quiet). An expert offers advice.
“My nine-year-old has been asking me about her birth mother. I was able to find her on social media, but I’m worried about sharing the photos I found.”
“Our children have a younger sibling in a different foster home. Should we fight to get custody of this child, whom we’re told has a strong bond with her foster parents and foster siblings, or leave things be?”
I adopted my son as he was entering his teen years, and now, too soon, I have seen him off to college. How will his still tenuous attachment play out when I’m no longer a constant, physical presence in his life?
From newborns to teens to sibling groups, adoptive parents share the thought process behind their age preferences when adopting.
“Looking back on this picture, I see a child who was confused, but yearning for what we all want and need: security, a family, and love. The picture is about hope.”
We may not have heard our children’s very first words, but we’ve heard many others in our journey through infertility and foster adoption—and now, as family.
Over decades as a foster and adoptive parent and an adoption social worker, I have mothered and supported hundreds of children. Each one has taught me more than I passed along to them. Here is just some of that wisdom.
“I know that my children’s birth siblings were abused by their birth parents, but my children don’t talk about trauma in their earlier lives. How should I talk with them about this?”
When we adopted our son as a toddler, he rarely displayed emotion and wouldn't show us any affection. How far my big, cuddly 10-year-old has come!
Pictures help show our children that their lives matter, and that they are part of a family. A photographer and adoptive mom offers her advice for taking and preserving meaningful moments.
When older children argue and act out, it’s often connected to events from their past. How could any child move through 14 foster placements unscathed? But last night, another clash, followed by a heart-to-heart, brought us one piece closer to feeling like a solid family.
A parent-to-be who’s adopting a four-year-old from foster care solicits advice about what to do that first day home and how to make it easier on the child.
Have you considered growing your family through adoption from U.S. foster care, but don’t know where to begin? Contact the experts at AdoptUSKids for personalized guidance and the reassurance that “you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.”
As a father who raised a child from birth and is now parenting older children adopted from foster care, I’ve come to see that the game and pieces may, indeed, be the same, but you have to play in an entirely different way.
“We just found out that we won’t be able to adopt the child we’ve been fostering. How do we tell the child, and explain to our older daughter?”
“We are adopting my sister-in-law’s teenage son after fostering him for five years. What can I say to her at family gatherings, to family who still don’t get that we’ll be his legal parents—and to my son, who hears all of this?”