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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
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    9,625

    Default Questions for adoptive parents - especially those who adopted older (non-infant) kids

    I am curious to know if anyone has experience with adopting "older" children (non-infant, toddler age on up) and would be willing to share. I know the process has similarities and differences among states, but I'd be happy to hear from anyone who has gone through the process. You can PM me if you prefer, and I'd be happy to give you my email address by PM if you prefer to communicate that way.

    I've done extensive research online about the process in my state, but certainly that can't tell me everything. I have lots of questions, but am also open to hearing anything adoptive parents think is important to know. Most of my questions center around the initial process now because that's really where we are. However, I know I will also have a lot of questions about the adjustment periods for the children after the adoption. I'm curious to know what the home study process was like, how long the entire process took, and what you found particularly difficult about the process. Did anyone move (within the same state) during the home study or between completion of the home study and the adoption? I've heard the home study can be amended if the parent(s) move. Did anyone adopt a child that was living in another state? I've heard the home study requires a lot of documentation (financial, health, background checks, etc.) for the home study. I'm sure that's one of the requirements that varies a lot state-to-state, but I'm curious to know what sorts of things were required.

    I'd prefer not to post too much personal information about my husband and me publicly here, but we are considering beginning the home study process. We do not have a particular child(ren) in mind, but we would like to adopt an "older" child as opposed to an infant. We're prepared for the fact that the process can take up to two years or longer start to finish We have no children currently and no plans to have any biological children. We're financially and emotionally stable, have supportive family and friends (some of whom have adopted children in the past), etc., etc. I'm also pretty certain that my state does not require us to foster children first, though prospective adoptive parents go through a similar qualification process.

    I'm really looking to hear anyone's story and any information or advice you'd like to share. I know this stuff is very personal, so please feel free to contact me privately if you prefer to do so. Thanks in advance to anyone willing to share!
    Last edited by Phaxxton; Jul. 16, 2014 at 06:58 PM. Reason: change title :)



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2009
    Location
    far side of the moon, Utah
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Check out the adoption.com forums. A wealth of all things adoption related. The foster and foster adoption sections are especially helpful with issues related to older children.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
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    9,625

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    Quote Originally Posted by rider25 View Post
    Check out the adoption.com forums. A wealth of all things adoption related. The foster and foster adoption sections are especially helpful with issues related to older children.
    Thank you!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 13, 2008
    Posts
    1,102

    Default

    There are a few awesome COTHERS that have younger children that are adopted, I hope they chime in. I also know of foster parents that have eventually been able to adopt one or more of their kids, but that is a hard row to hoe, since unification with birth parents is the object. Good luck OP, it seems that there are so many children needing homes.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
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    4,984

    Default

    Adding to Griffyn's post. Being a foster parent may be an option for you and DH as long as you can accept DHS tries to reunite the kids and parents. I know people who have fostered kids and they loved doing it.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  6. #6
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffyn View Post
    There are a few awesome COTHERS that have younger children that are adopted, I hope they chime in. I also know of foster parents that have eventually been able to adopt one or more of their kids, but that is a hard row to hoe, since unification with birth parents is the object. Good luck OP, it seems that there are so many children needing homes.
    Thank you so much!

    Also, I guess I shouldn't have really limited the title of my thread to adoption of "older" children. I'm sure that people who adopted infants go through many of the same processes and experiences. I'm certainly open to hearing from anyone who has adopted a child of any age. I also completely respect that this is a very personal matter and know that some people may not be willing to share publicly (or at all). If anyone does prefer to PM me, though, I will certainly keep that in strict confidence.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2010
    Location
    Texarkana, AR
    Posts
    1,694

    Default

    I'm on my phone so I don't want to do a long post but I adopted a 5 year old who is now 17 plus I work in the field. I post more info tomorrow
    I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2009
    Location
    far side of the moon, Utah
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    104

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    My husband and I adopted our son through domestic infant adoption. His birthmom chose us while she was pregnant with him. Ask any question that comes to mind. I'll answer everything that I can. I'm sure other members of the adoption triad would be happy to chime in as well.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007
    Posts
    4,177

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    My brother and SIL are currently in the process of adopting three, ages 8, 7, and 3. They had them in foster care first, and even now, the adoption isn't complete, but as I understand it, the last court actions regarding the biological family and the competing "claimants" have been finished, and the decision has been made what happens to them. So now the adoption WILL happen; it's just a matter of paperwork and bureaucracy.

    I know they've said it was a long and complicated process, probably more so in their circs with the bio family still in the picture at the beginning. I saw the kids at July 4th, and they seem to be adapting just fine, as well as you can judge from a family BBQ. They did say that the 3yo is a strong-willed, fearless tomboy and that "we're glad we got this one at 2," but that sounds like an individual personality thing, not necessarily tied to her background/adjustment.

    Brother is military, but they have not moved during the process. He is occasionally off here and there for about 2-week intervals at this point in his career, all over the world but in brief bites. SIL did say that she has given up her dog grooming business. She is now a full-time SAHM.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,832

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    My husband and I adopted our sibling girls from Russia in 2003. They were 18 months and just almost 5 years old at the time.

    I believe the homestudy process is the same for all types of adoption - it's conducted according to state requirements (if I recall....admitting it was a long time ago for us.). I personally found the homestudy totally easy, not intrusive, and not a big deal at all....It's a lot easier if you remind yourself that it really isn't about you at all - it's about the child that will be placed...it's only fair to that child that the agency considers the background of the prospective parents.

    We showed tax returns, had to get fingerprinted for a criminal record check, and had to get a letter from our local police department saying we were upstanding citizens or something (LOL I can't remember...I'm sorry!) We had to write a biography about ourselves - that was our agency's requirement at the time, but I was told that even only a few years later they changed that to be done during an interview, probably because they really only want to know a few details and didn't need to read a book from everyone. Our agency did not ask any "inappropriate" questions in my opinion.

    Remember that the social workers really want to find families to be eligible, not to eliminate them from consideration. It would be a very hard job if they were looking for faults rather than homes.

    As for adopting an older child, the one piece of advice I would give is that I recall reading something once that said something to the effect of -- a child is not fully "adjusted" until they have lived at least as long in their new home as they have in all other homes prior to adoption. So...essentially...if you adopt a 5 year old, you are likely to have some "adjustment" and/or attachment issues until they are 10 years old. With luck, they will be increasingly fewer and fewer, until you probably won't believe they are even there. But, if you go into it knowing that you can't expect a perfect situation in a year, it makes it easier. Life takes time.

    Good luck - and feel free to PM me any specific questions. As I said, my adoption was a long time ago, but...of course we remember a lot about it!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
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    Thank you to everyone for your posts! I really appreciate all the information... I'm sure I will have more to say later once I've had a chance to re-read all the posts.

    Also, someone mentioned foster care... I have so much respect for foster parents, and I support that the goal of foster care is reunification with birth parents. That said, I know it is not something my husband and I are capable of doing. So that is not an option for us now.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2006
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
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    My hat's off to those of you who have adopted or are planning to adopt older children. That is just the most selfless, wonderful thing ever.

    Of all the sad things that can happen to a child, I have long thought that not having a family and being unwanted (and being old enough to recognize and internalize that) was the saddest.

    Hope you find your (yours and Mr. Phaxxton's!) child soon, Phaxxton, and that all goes smoothly!
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.



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