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What are some challenges of adopting an older child?

Some families want to open their homes to an older child instead of a newborn. If you are considering adopting an older child, there are some things you should prepare yourself and your family for before committing to an adoption.

As Psychology Today explains, many older children have life experiences that make it more challenging for them to bond with an adopted family.

Behaviors resulting from trauma

An older child will probably spend time in foster care before coming to your home. It is possible that your adopted child has gone through periods of neglect or trauma. These difficult times may have occurred in foster care or even when the child had lived with biological relatives.

Trauma can lead to strange or unruly behaviors. An adopted child may need counseling or therapy to work through problems to help bond with a new family.

Excessive trust

It may seem strange that a child could put too much trust in an adult, but this may happen with children who have never bonded with a particular adult before. Your adopted child might fear abandonment and will trust just about any adult without question. Be sure you can address this issue or your adopted child could make unwise decisions.

Dealing with disabilities

It is also possible your adopted child could have a mental or physical disability. While you might be ready to care for a disabled child, you should make sure to get the complete background on your adoptee so you know if you can provide proper care and support.

Sometimes problems do not show themselves until after an adoption has taken place. This makes it important to learn as much as you can about who you want to adopt.