Advantages to Older Child Adoption

Adoption offers certain choices that parents of biological children do not have. For one thing, prospective adoptive parents can choose to adopt an overseas child or to adopt a child in their own country. They can choose whether to arrange a private adoption or hire an agency. They can choose the sex of the child, and even its age. Biological parents can make none of these choices.

Important Advantages

Most of the time, those considering adoption conclude that newborns trump the choice of an older child without really examining the issues involved in such a decision. People just assume that an older child is a poorer choice. However, there really are important advantages to adopting an older child that prospective parents should at least ponder before dismissing the idea out of hand.

In the lingo of adoption, an older child is one who is 24 months or older at the time of adoption. Here are some advantages to adopting the older child that prospective parents would do well to contemplate:

Unknown Quantity

*More data is available—A newborn is an unknown quantity, but you can learn about the older child's talents, interests, abilities, and personality before the adoption.

*History—The older child comes with medical and developmental histories which can be brought to specialists for evaluation purposes before you decide to accept a referral.

*Matchmaking—To a certain degree, you can tell if a child referred to you for adoption will be a good match with your family in terms of character and interests.

*No surprises-Some disorders don't show up in newborns and take some time to show up, for instance Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). By adopting an older child, you rule out the possibility that such ailments will pop up at a later date.

Less Demanding

*Degree of independence—Older children can do more than babies. The older child may already know how to feed, dress, and entertain himself, for instance. That means that the job of parenting the older child may be less demanding.

*Greater interaction—Older children are more responsive and can have fun with you doing activities like baking cookies, planting a garden, and taking field trips.

*Preserving personal memories—With the older child, you have the important job of being the one to help them hold onto and preserve the memories of their birth families and ethnic culture. The meaningful clues their memories provide help you toward a better understanding of the temperament and personality of your child.

Beautiful Moments

Of course, there are also disadvantages to adopting the older child, just as there are pros and cons to adopting newborn babies. One thing's sure: no matter the age of the child you adopt, there are sure to be good times mixed in with some challenges, which make those beautiful moments all the sweeter.

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