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Guide to Adopting Older Children

Guide to Adopting Older Children

Those who have never been involved in the adoption process, tend to think of newborns and small children when they think of adoption. In many instances, this is the case. But in some cases, the adoption will be of an older child. Does the adoption of an older child require different preparations? What are some of the practical considerations when adopting and parenting older children?

There are many myths surrounding the idea of adopting an older child. It can be useful for those who are considering the adoption of a child older than 4 years old to know some of the “truths” mixed in with the myth.

  1. Adopting an older child may mean assisting the child in dealing with challenges, including trauma, grief, loss, attachment issues, developmental delays, etc. There are trained professionals, support groups for adoptive parents of older children, etc. to assist adoptive parents in approaching these challenges. If you are an adoptive parent of an older child, be aware of potential issues when possible and prepare to address them through professional guidance. In many instances, it can help to simply know that you aren’t alone. There is an entire community of other adoptive parents out there who are understanding of your questions and concerns and available to discuss problems and answer questions you may have. Reach out for the help that is available to you – don’t feel you have to handle it yourself in order to be a good parent.
  2. When adopting through the foster care system, families may wait up to a decade to adopt a newborn infant. In comparison, the process to adopt an older child is much faster.
  3. Most post-placement services and benefits for parents who have adopted domestically in the U.S area free or covered by insurance: medical, dental, vision, physical/occupational therapy, tuition discounts, etc. In many cases, older children adopted through the foster care system come with an adoption subsidy to assist families in meeting the needs of the child.

If you are still unclear regarding the unique challenges and benefits associated with adopting an older child, please get in touch with the experienced Arizona adoption lawyers at Arizona Family Law Attorneys. Adopting a child of any age results in a lot of personal and often cultural growth on the part of adoptive parents – look forward to becoming one of an ever-expanding group of adoptive parents becoming much-needed advocates for children everywhere.


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