Tips for Dealing with the Challenges of Adopting an Older Child
If you’ve decided to adopt an older child, you’ll find that there are advantages and disadvantages:
- There are more older children readily available for adoption
- You’ll have more communication at an earlier level
- Your child will likely have formed attachments or bonds to other adults
- Your child will have developed good and bad behaviors
Here are some of the ways that you can help your newly adopted older child adjust more quickly to life in your home:
- If your child is from another country and English is not a first language, help them learn English as soon as possible. You will be amazed at how quickly they pick it up, but the more you help, the less confused they will be.
- Keep things low key and normal. Don’t try to make their lives non-stop fun or entertainment. You’ll both overwhelm them and set unrealistic expectations.
- Be careful that your joy doesn’t inhibit the child from feeling his or her pain or loss—your adopted older child will experience some grief or loss, even if they were in a foster home or an orphanage. Don’t diminish that loss by acting as if everything is fine now that they are in your home. Talk with your child about what they have lost and help them understand that it’s okay for them to feel sad or hurt or whatever emotions come up.
- Get pictures from the child’s past, if possible. Pictures can help a child make the transition to a new home, allowing them to keep some connection with the past as they become part of your family.
Contact Adoption Attorneys Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC
At the law office of Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC, our lawyers bring more than 25 years of experience to every matter we handle. Attorney Donald C. Cofsky has personally handled more than 1,500 adoption proceedings since joining the bar in 1974. Attorney Bruce D. Zeidman has protected the interests of clients in state and federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1984. We understand the challenges you face, and can help you identify all your options so that you can make good decisions that are in your best long-term interests.