One of the most common special needs among children waiting for an adoptive family isn’t a physical need at all—it’s simply being older than the age of 5. These children have waited a long time for a family, and often, being considered an “older child” means they wait even longer.
Think you could be the right family for older child adoption? Read the 10 things you need to know about adopting an older child.
10 Things You Need to Know About Older Child Adoption
- A child is considered “older” if they arrive home older than 5. After age 5, a child’s chance of joining a family through adoption decreases significantly.
- You will get to experience many new things together. All parents of older adopted children say that despite missing out on the earliest days of life, there are still many joyful “firsts” to experience together!
- You will receive parenting support and adoption training. Older children in orphanages often develop self-protective behaviors. With Holt’s education and training, you will learn how to help your child heal from a traumatic past.
- Every child’s educational experience is different. Some children will have few problems in school, while others will need some specialized support or pacing — particularly if they are also learning English!
- Adopting an older child isn’t only about helping a child fit into your family. It’s more about the entire family adjusting to their newest member and learning about his or her culture, history, language and more.
- Teaching your child English doesn’t have to be intimidating. Parents say one of their biggest fears is helping their child learn English. Today, there are plenty of apps, tools and technology solutions to make communication easier than ever before.
- You don’t need to be a child development professional to adopt an older child. Flexibility, realistic expectations, a willingness to learn and a sense of humor are the most vital attributes of any family considering older child adoption.
- Older children often long for permanent, loving families. The older a child is when they come home, the more they will be able to talk about what they hope and wish for in a family, including siblings!
- Kids don’t stop needing their parents when they turn 18. This is especially true of older adopted children.
- Children are waiting for families now! There are many, many children ages 5-16 years old who are waiting for a loving family of their own.