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Adoption: Messing with birth order

If someone were to adopt a kid who was older than their own do you think it would screw things up? What are your thoughts about this? I read a book about this once and I thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss.


Asked by dragonqueen at 2:39 PM on Feb. 9, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 17 (4,207 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • I don't think it would mess things up. I think an older one could be welcomed in your family just in a different way than a baby. As the oldest child in my family it would not really have changed our dynamics if an older one had come in.

    Answer by Melbornj at 2:43 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I don't think birth order matters as much as it used to. A new sibling is a new sibling, age shouldn't matter

    Answer by mysticlady1221 at 2:59 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I think people read too much into things like that. I feel its a theory or idea based off the ideal family unit......which isn't so ideal anymore if you catch my drift.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 3:03 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I think it could potentially cause friction, but not always.

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 4:46 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Yes at times it can. As an adoptive mom and social worker - it can be great but also it can be not so good in some situations. The key is to work with professionals who know your strengths and know what situations are not the best fit. It realy depends ona lot of factors. In my family it would not be healthy to adopt an older boy. Our son would not cope with that well. He may cope nicely with an older sister but really it would be emotionally healthier for him to be the older big brother. The newest family member needs a lot of additional nurturing just like an infant would for attatchment and bonding. A child who has been with your family may be resentful and confused. The newest and oldest child becomes your "youngest" in many ways. Not all adoptees and siblings can cope with these out of birth order situations. On the other hand - it has worked for families. It matters most the family and the adoptee.

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:14 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • As an adoptive parent I say YES! Birth order can make a huge difference. Many agencies will not allow you to adopt out of birth order...even with foster care.
    Our daughter is adopted from China and she is the oldest at the age of 5. She has a baby sister. It would definitely be a terrible disservice to make her the middle child after being the oldest for so long. There would be power struggles, especially if the new sibling had many sensory issues or attachment all honesty, our youngest would have horrible issues as well as those "potential" issues could mean the new child would be the "baby" if you will.
    There are many studies that suggest that adopting out of birth order is not a good idea.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 7:44 AM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • I think it would depend on how much of an alpha child your current oldest child is and how many issues you would need to work through with the child you are adopting.If you have a child that is one of those I am in charge I am the oldest I am second only to mom and you adopted a child older than them you are not only changing their family life but their sense of self. If your oldest is not one to want to take charge and claim that spot all the time than it may be easier.


    Answer by Alanaplus3 at 8:56 AM on Feb. 10, 2011

  • confused


    Answer by sherribeare at 3:08 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • I don't know if you guys know that I am trying to adopt right now and I wanted to see if this was still an issue or not. In the book read it was written by a guy and his wife who had adopted 10 children. He said he had no issues with the order messing up when he adopted a child older than another. its still an interesting topic to me.

    Comment by dragonqueen (original poster) at 3:17 PM on Feb. 9, 2011

  • Hmm, I don't think my answer is going to help but as an adoptive parent, I feel the need to answer. My DH and I adopted our first child by surprise. We had never planned to have children as I was going to go to law school and make a name for myself (never happened) so this child really was a surprise. I have had two more children since, and her adoption is a non-issue for us and the boys. The boys don't know what adoption means, and they don't care. Sissy is Sissy and that's all that matters.

    I sometimes forget that my daughter was adopted, she feels like she came from me.

    Answer by SnapdragonSMT at 9:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2011