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.

Laila, who joined her family through foster adoption.

“Teaching Our Daughter That Her Needs Matter”

“Teaching Our Daughter That Her Needs Matter”

My little girl didn't fuss, never cried, and was utterly compliant. It was up to us to teach her to shove, yell, and demand — and find her voice.

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Advice on parenting your adopted child

Claiming Your Role as a Parent

Daring to parent an older child who has experienced hurt or neglect in the past will help him learn to trust and love.

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Older child adoption stories and advice

What I Wish I Had Known

After the initial adjustment stages, parents who adopt older kids often say, "Why didn't someone tell me that?" Here are eight of the lessons families I've worked with over the past 25 years have learned.

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Food problems in older children can be overcome

Older Child Parenting — The Facts Behind Food Challenges

Our expert explains common feeding challenges with adopted older children, and their solutions.

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AF explains what to expect when adopting an older child.

Adapting Expectations

When you adopt a toddler or an older child, be prepared to encounter some surprising behaviors. Experts and parents share their strategies and successes.

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One mom shares the lessons she learned planning a family vacation.

“Too Soon for a Family Vacation”: Older Child Adjustment

What we should have known before we took our newly adopted 13-year-old on a surprise Disney World vacation.

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Read our older child adoption tips

When Your Older Child Comes Home

We're about to adopt a seven-year-old. Does he have to start school right away? What about medical care? What can wait until we've bonded?

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Older children will need an adjustment period after adoption

Overcoming Older Child Anxiety

We recently adopted a five-year-old. She seems so fearful and anxious! How can we help her learn to trust and love us?

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An adoptive and biological family after their finalization

“Finally — Finalization!” — Part 6 of Foster Adoption Series

In part six of our adoption odyssey, Angie and Alexandra become our children in the eyes of the law. In our hearts, that had happened months ago.

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Group of siblings, several in their teen years, and father

“Balancing Act” — Part 5 of Foster Adoption Series

In part five of our family's adoption odyssey, we begin the tug-of-war also known as parenting a teenager.

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Alexandra, happily overcoming her reading disability

“School Daze” — Part 4 of Foster Adoption Series

In part four of our family's adoption odyssey, our daughter grapples with her learning disability.

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Two sisters who joined their forever family via Fost/Adopt

“Learning How to Settle In” — Part 3 of Foster Adoption Series

In the third part of our family's adoption odyssey, our new daughters help us rediscover the joy in everyday moments.

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A new family, including birth siblings, biological and foster children

“A New Family Dynamic” — Part 2 of Foster Adoption Series

In the second part of our family's adoption odyssey, we meet our new daughters and confront their past — and look to our future together.

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A family formed via foster adoption

“In the Beginning” — Part 1 of Foster Adoption Series

In part one of our family's adoption odyssey, we make our way through our state's Fost/Adopt program and find that things don't always go according to plan. But sometimes, that's for the best.

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Disruption may be the only option

Letting Go: The Truth About Adoption Disruption

The decision to disrupt an adoption is agonizing. But if it's been made, we must focus on the child's best interests rather than on placing blame, say families and experts.

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Adoption Experts answer your questions.

Ask AF: Older Child Adjustment

The older child we're adopting is coming to us after seven years of foster care in another country. How can we make the transition easier?

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