Do Children Prefer Older or Younger Adoptive Siblings?
One common reason that people adopt is because they want their current child to have another sibling. While this is certainly admirable, it can be tough to ensure that all your children get along with each other. Carefully considering the adoptive child’s age can help, but there are a few things to know before you decide.
Adopting an Infant Is Not Always the Easiest Choice
Many parents think that an infant adoption will be the most convenient choice because it mimics normal birth order. It is true that adopting a baby allows older siblings to have the typical experience of parents bringing home a new baby brother or sister. However, an infant takes up a lot of your time. You will need to provide round-the-clock care and sacrifice sleep time to ensure that the baby’s needs are met. In any family, this can be a tough time where older siblings feel like they’re being neglected. If your current children are already feeling sensitive about the subject of adoption, a new sibling who will be attached to their parents 24/7 can worsen insecurities.
Adopting Older Children May Come With Potential Issues
There can be many benefits to adopting a child older than your other children. However, parents also need to be realistic when adopting an older child. The unfortunate reality is that many children who are adopted at an older age have experienced a lot of trauma. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll struggle to fit into the family and bond with their other siblings. However, it can impact their ability to relate to other children. You always need to approach the experience thoughtfully and closely consider how any past trauma may impact children’s interactions.
Age Doesn’t Tell You Everything About a Child’s Behavior
Keep in mind that there is no specific guarantee that a child of a certain age will act a certain way. Every child grows at a different rate and has different strengths. Even one who seems very mature in certain areas can have other areas where they struggle. It’s important to be flexible when adopting. Instead of telling your New Jersey adoption lawyer that you only want to adopt a specific age, try to take the time to get to know children of multiple ages. This can help you find the individual who’s right for your family instead of just picking someone who meets strict criteria about ages.
It’s Important to Take Your Children’s Personalities Into Account
Of course, not all children will have the same reaction to other children. Some kids might want a little sibling who they can care for and teach new things while others might want someone their own age to be a playmate. If you are considering adoption, it’s worthwhile to sit down and talk with your children about what age to adopt. You should also pay attention to the things that you’ve noticed about your current children. For example, a child who wants a lot of attention might prefer an older sibling. Taking everyone’s personalities into account can often have the best outcome for everyone.
Remember That It Takes Time to Adjust
In any family, the time immediately following the adoption can be difficult. Parents might be baffled to learn that their child who begged for a little sister is suddenly resentful of their new sibling’s childish behavior. In these cases, it’s easy to assume that you might’ve selected the wrong age. However, the reality is that there’s no foolproof combination of ages. It will always take time for everyone to get used to their new role in the family. Try not to get disappointed or frustrated if any of your children act out a little. It’s perfectly normal for everyone to need time to adjust. As each child matures and everyone bonds, things are likely to settle down.
For more help with adoption, turn to Cofsky & Zeidman. We provide compassionate adoption assistance in Haddonfield and the surrounding areas. Call 856-429-5005 or fill out our contact form to learn more about our New Jersey adoption lawyer services.