Older Child Adoption


Advice from adoption experts and real adoption stories by parents who adopted an older child internationally or from U.S. foster care.

Teens Alejandro and Rosanna, adopted as older children from foster care

“Letting the 13-Year-Old Drive”

“Letting the 13-Year-Old Drive”

How do you empower a child entering his teen years in a state of defeat, powerlessness, and utter self-disregard? You give him a key and tell him to take off!

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foster-adoption-anniversary-first-visit-photo-700

“Anniversary”

One year after my daughter came to live with me from foster care, the memory was still too bittersweet for her. But today, two years after becoming mother and daughter, we are ready to celebrate.

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Julia Baxter with her family, including four new siblings through foster adoption, on their adoption day

“Where We All Belong”

When I was a teen, my parents decided to grow our family by adopting from foster care. How did it feel to suddenly gain four new brothers and sisters through adoption?

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Creating New Holiday Traditions with Your Adopted Kids

“We’ve Always Done It That Way”

The uncharted journey of our first Christmas together etched a road of new, heart-warming traditions.

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Bonding Over the Family Photo Album

Finding Belonging in Pictures

After adopting older children, these parents found that maintaining a family photo album was a useful tool to encourage bonding.

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"Front Porch Children" - Foster Parent essay by Keri Collinsworth

“Front Porch Children”

Being a foster parent is not for the faint of heart. Your heart swells, loves, breaks, and heals with each placement—and it is all, every moment of it, worth it.

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"We Are All Adopted," by Veronica Chenik Gilmore

“We Are All Adopted”

From my own search for my roots through adopting older children from foster care, life has taught me to treasure my children’s biological connections while knowing that we don’t have to look alike to belong together.

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An adoptive mom shares her thoughts about being told "There's still hope" for her to get pregnant

“Adoption Is Not Second Best”

Near-strangers feel compelled to tell me about friends who got pregnant after adopting and say, “There’s still hope….” But I don’t hope for a biological child; I hope for a healthy relationship with my two kids.

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Browsing baby stores helps my adopted teen and I bond and talk about the years we missed out on as mother and daughter

“Bonding with My Teen in the Baby Department”

My daughter came to me at nine years old, so neither of us knows what she looked like as a baby, but walking these aisles is a way for us to recreate what we both lost.

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Relative Adoption Niece

“An Unexpected Family”

For eight years, my wife and I watched our chances of having a baby evaporate. Then our eleven-year-old niece came to live with us, bringing with her a bittersweet deliverance.

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Foster Care System Problems

Listen to the Children

A callous foster care system deprived her of parents and siblings and gave precious little in return.

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healthy attachment

Into the Safety of Our Hearts from Hard Places

Years of working with at-risk adopted children have taught us powerful truths about how to forge a strong parent-child connection. When children have experienced maltreatment or neglect prior to adoption, the idea of family may be confusing to them.

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family bedsharing

“Sleeping Together as a Family”

At night, each of this mother's three children wanted to be with mom.

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A daughter curious about her birth parents

“Googling Her Birth Parents”

Would it really be possible to fill out my daughter's hazy memories by typing names into a search engine?

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