Child Adoption

Getting ready to adopt a child

Older child adoption can be sought through the foster care system, or through agencies that specialize in matching kids in need to parents with open arms. The adoption of children who are old enough to understand what's happening comes with its own set of challenges, but can also be very rewarding. Before you look into how to adopt a child, you first need to assess the advantages and potential disadvantages of older child adoption and make an honest assessment of whether or not it's right for you.

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Issues Involved with Older Child Adoption

Seeking older children for adoption has some very specific advantages. First, it is easier for you to develop rapport with an older child who has already developed interests, hobbies and has clearly defined personality traits. Older kids aren't as demanding as babies, and you can enjoy activities together right from the start.

There are also numerous medical advantages: first, older children have a more complete medical history, and there are certain conditions with affect a lot of adopted children, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, which are not apparent during infancy. In this sense, there is less risk involved with older child adoption than with baby adoption.

However, you must also carefully plan the child's transition into your home, as this can be a difficult process with an older child. Work with an adoption agency that will provide you and your partner with full resources, education, information and support.

Find an Older Child for Adoption

The foster care system, child care services, specialty adoption agencies and adoption attorneys are all excellent resources for couples interested in adopting an older child. Generally speaking, the process of child adoption is similar to infant adoption, and you will have to consent to an in-depth screening and background check as well as complete parent education courses.

While every effort is made to match children with parents in a timely manner, the adoption process can sometimes be lengthy. In some cases, it can take years to finalize everything and bring a new child into your loving home. Be prepared, be committed and be patient, and you're likely to be rewarded in the end.