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Adopting a teen girl

I need some advice.
My husband and I have a 2 yr old boy. We love him very much, and we have been ttc for over a year and a half. We have room in our home, and I am a sahm and my husband has a steady job.
I looked online at the children available for adoption from the foster care in our state. I read the bio of a 14 yr old girl and I can't get her out of my mind. She has siblings that she needs to stay in touch with, is below grade level, and per the bio "has behavioral challenges". Other than that she seems like a regular teen girl, likes clothes, wants a pet etc.
I need someone to tell me straight out how hard it really is to bring a teen girl into the family. I feel like I don't really have a grasp on the real issues involved and that I am caught up imaging what could be.
I'm in my mid twenties, and we haven't even done a home study or started any processes.

Answer Question
 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 6:30 PM on Feb. 8, 2010 in Adoption

Answers (12)
  • I'd be really careful, very very careful. You could tear up your family even though you were trying to do a noble deed.
    Steff107

    Answer by Steff107 at 6:32 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • Like Woody and Soon YI?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:32 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • Oh god, I was a horrible teen 14? thats a tough one.. could go either direction really.. I have behvioral issues and none of them were violent but being she's in foster and has them, I would lean towards the fact they could be. I guess personally, yes, sad, But I wouldn't risk my 2 year old son's safety.. so hard.. good luck to whatever you decide... so hard..
    maxsmom11807

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 6:35 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • It can be very difficult to adopt children in their teens because of emotional issues that come along with that. You will have to be prepared for things like running away in the middle of night, stealing, etc. I don't know this girl so i can't say that's what will happened, but you have to be prepared for stuff like that not to mention paying for therapists and things like that. My Dad and stepmom adopted a little boy when he was 4 and they are still dealing with a lot of issues from him. He gets in trouble at school a lot and at home. He is extremely smart, talented, and good at everything he does, but just has behavioral issues big time. You are trying to do a good thing here, but I just think it would be good if you knew what it was you were getting yourself into.
    lowencope

    Answer by lowencope at 6:38 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • You should read a book called "Happiness is a Choice" by Barry Neil Kaufman. Him and his wife have adopted older children, who were considered "damaged goods", and have had tremendous success. I'm not sure if they were already teens but I do know that they dealt with some behavioral challenges. I think it will give you some insight as to the kind of attitudinal approach you need to have to do this.
    moniquinha

    Answer by moniquinha at 6:40 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • you need to find out specifics about behavioral problems... they can be realllly nasty, especially if you already have a younger child. you could try it as a trial basis for a few months and see how it goes.
    missbreezy214

    Answer by missbreezy214 at 6:47 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • Will be hard - could be rough - teen girls are a mess - but could also give a girl a chance at having a life and love back......
    Good luck with your decision!
    mommymeg03

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 6:48 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • OP., I am curious as to why you have not contacted the agency, and found out MORE about her "behavioral problems", because the tterm behavioral, could mean many many things. YOU and your Hubby are the only ones whom KNOW what you are capable of, and what your strength and patience can offer this young girl. I grew up abused, yet I was very quiet, and reserved. I however stayed living in my home with my siblings, and had a great Dad. I would suggest you contact this agency, and find out more before you go any further with this. There is obviously a reason you cannot get her out of your mind, Blessings, C.J.
    ceejay1

    Answer by ceejay1 at 7:19 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • I would think that she might not be functioning on a 14 y/o level, meaning that she could have the emotional age of someone much younger. For example a 9 y/o. One of the things that you'd need to prepare yourself for is re-learning what to "expect" of someone who is 14 on the "outside" and 9 y/o in the "inside". I hear things like, "Doesn't she know how to....", "Shouldn't she know not to..." etc. As far as I am concerned with ANY foster child, the only things that are guaranteed is what YOU YOURSELF have taught them. You can't assume anything else.

    Do your research and see where it leads. If anything, you'll know more than when you started. Maybe now ends up not being the right time, but if you ever think about it in the future, go ahead and start gathering information. The more you know, the more you can help.
    doodlebopfan

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 8:44 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

  • OP Here:
    Thanks to everyone for your input. It helps to have fresh perspectives who have actual experience. I will talk it over with my husband to see how serious he is, and then takes steps to finding out more information about her difficulties and her situation. I have been hesitant because I am scared of doing something that is not right for us or for her.

    Her bio stated that she would be best off in a home with a baby or young child so she can have the kind of attention she would like. So I assume that they think that she would be safe around young children (I would hope). Of course this is all just conjecture until we find out more information.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:30 PM on Feb. 8, 2010

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