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Pros & Cons: Adopting an older child

For a child-less couple of many years, becoming a parent is almost like a dream. But when age takes over, even artificial methods of conceiving cannot be of much help. In such scenario, adoption is a beautiful idea. However, there may be several reasons why a couple may choose to adopt an older kid. While some couples take this step because of their age, most others simply go ahead and adopt out of the feeling of care for the neglected child. While it is a good idea to provide shelter, love and care to an older child, but bonding with the child might be an uphill task. Older child adoption thus is basically all about balancing the act with right discretion and worthy actions. Therefore, it is inevitable that you must measure both the pros and the cons to adopting an older child and finally going with the right decision.


1. Adopting an older child might be a little easy and quicker because there are older kids in abundance needing to be placed with a caring family. Cost wise too adoption of older kids is a milder affair as compared to newborns. Most of the older lot gets left behind because newborns and infants are the ones more in demand.

2. An older child will already be verbally skilled. Also, he/she will consume less time and will not require constant attention as an infant. The child can easily convey and understand whatever he/she may desire or feel.

3. While adopting an older child, parents can gain a clearer insight into the medical history of the child. It becomes more apparent what type if medical issues (physical/psychological), the parent and the child may have to face in future.

4. Finally, it is extremely easy to fathom the depth of relationship that you may forge with the older child. Besides, it will also be easier to understand how he/she may adjust.

Building a happy family


1. The adoptive parents are bound to miss out on the most beautiful stage of a child’s growing up years – the infancy. The joys of the first step and the first word cannot be realized in adoption of an older child. Also, you may feel like an amateur if you have not experienced parenthood before.

2. For the child to be adopted, the process may be very painful. He/ she may find it very difficult to develop the connection with the new parents and family members. For the child, it may also mean renewing their set of contacts and relationships. The child may take a lot of time to come out of this transition phase.

3. You may also have to go through a lot of research about the history of the child. His/her parents, family, the break up of the family, his/her medical and social history as well as the reason why the child is up for adoption, signs of physical or emotional abuse to child etc. This may take up a lot of your energy and involve some paper work.

4. Most people adopt to be able to complete their family. With the adoption of an older kid, there are chances that the child may have full knowledge of his or her adoption and may not completely be able to relate with the family members throughout the life. This can happen because the adopted child most probably appears to have distinctive physical features and thus others often point out the difference, to the effect of saddening the child for longer periods.

5. Adoption can cause a mammoth change in the life of the growing child. Such kids have histories behind them, both personal and familial or societal. Their individual lives and experiences prior to adoption, can cause a lot of unresolved emotional turmoils later. Some of these examples are: loss of home/parents, trauma due to physical/emotional abuse, witnessing an uneventful incident like murder or violence etc. The expectations of the child should also be your major area of interest if you wish to gauge the kind of relationship that will develop further.

6. Adoptive parents must also ensure that the environment at their homes is conductive enough to welcome and nurture a new child who may initially show restraint. Very often other family members of the adoptive couple or a prospective single parent, become bonding hindrances between parent and the child. This behavior must be checked to avoid serious heartache later. The parents, on their part also need to alter their personal habits and ways of life if those habits seem to possibly harm the impressionable mind of the child.

In a nutshell, adoption of an older child is a beautiful and honorable deed, when carried out with utmost care, patience and understanding. Like all major decisions such as marriage, or giving birth, even adoption must be conceded after proper weighing of all the advantages and disadvantages thoroughly. Nevertheless, it may have its pros and cons but eventually adoption can lead you to the most blissful experiences of parenthood. Who knows, the newly adopted child may shower you with unlimited happiness and later turn into your dear friend for life.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Author, Publisher & Global Speaker at DrPrem.com
Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.
Dr Prem Jagyasi
Dr Prem Jagyasi
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