Should We Adopt an Older Child?

When a person thinks about adopting a child, they usually think about adopting a new born baby. While it is true that many people who are going to adopt a child do indeed adopt babies, many people have also adopted an older child. Adopting an older child has certain pros and certain cons that you should consider.

There are several pros to adopting an older child:

  • Adopting an older child will usually be quicker than adopting a baby.
  • There are many older children that need homes, and so it is often easier to find an older child to adopt than it is to find a baby or to find a pregnant woman who is going to be putting her baby up for adoption.
  • Because there are so many other older children that are in need of adopting, you can know that you have helped a child without a permanent home or family to finally have both a home and a family.
  • By adopting an older child, you can be in a position where you will have been able to discover what the older child’s special needs are. You are less likely to be surprised, for example, by a learning disability or a problem with behavior that may take many years to come to the surface.

There are also some cons to adopting an older child:

  • When it comes to adopting an older child, you will miss the opportunity to have some bonding time with the child in those important first months of the child’s life.
  • You will miss the chance to grow into parenting the same way with an older child. In other words, you don’t necessarily have the experience of dealing with the older child as a toddler before dealing with the child as a grade schooler.
  • You will also have to do a lot of re-teaching and re-training of an older child.
  • Your family’s morality and values are something that the child probably has not been exposed to, and it can often be difficult to instill values into older children.
  • In the same way that you might have to play “catch-up” in terms of morality, you many have to do the same in terms of education and emotions, as well.

Whether you are adopting an older child or a baby, you should be certain to weigh the pros and cons. Either way, you may find that adoption can be a very rewarding experience.


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