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Adoptive Moms Adoptive Moms

Infant vs Older Child - Your Input Please!

Posted by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:44 PM
  • 27 Replies

I'm talking the pros and cons of adopting age 0-2 vs 5-7yo WAITING children, via foster care system. (NOT domestic infant adoption.) What thoughts went into your decision to adopt one vs the other?

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 8:44 PM
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Replies (1-10):
shainaleitch
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 11:42 PM
2 moms liked this

I'm going the same route. I've decided on 5-6 yo for a couple reasons. It always makes me sad saying it, but they're less desired than babies, I won't have to pay for full time daycare, which is SO expensive, and may main reason, I want to be able to do things together that a baby won't be able to do for a long time. Things like hiking, camping, fishing, festivals. Also, I'm adopting as a single parent and won't be able to split up the night time wake ups. Also, my nephews are both 6. :)

MamaEngineer
by Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 11:50 PM

My husband and I had a strong calling for children over the age of 5. When wanting to adopt from foster care, children older than 5 are more likely to be legally free or soon to be legally free while children 0-2 have to wait 15-18 before they are legally free, in most cases. By looking on our state's waiting children website, we realized there were more children available. I, also, had a history of caring for 8 infants growing up so I did not have any desire for changing more diapers, bottle feedings or waking up in the middle of the night. We ended up with a 13 year old and it is going well.

bekalynne440
by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 12:13 AM
2 moms liked this
0-2: pros- you have more influence from earlier on, bonding can sometimes come more naturally, you get to enjoy more firsts, some extended family may be more accepting of a younger child than an older one

cons: it can take a lot longer to adopt a child 0-2 if you're looking to straight adopt (not foster), you are working with kids who you can't explain to them what's going on, you still have diapers, you have daycare costs if there isn't one stay at home parent, and some people just don't care for the baby stage as much

5-7: pros: you can converse with them and understand a little more about what's going on in their world, you can do more activities with them, you (generally) don't have to worry about daycare or diapers, it may not take as long to adopt as they are seen as less desireable than babies

Cons: you miss a lot of firsts, the kids may have more emotional and behavioral issues, and bonding may take a lot longer

These are just a few things that come to mind.
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Music182013
by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 7:26 AM

Bekalynne pretty much nails it on the head.  Your decision has to be what you want out of the child you adopt.  Think about the pros and cons, make your own list, then make your decision based on what's best for you. 


Quoting bekalynne440:

0-2: pros- you have more influence from earlier on, bonding can sometimes come more naturally, you get to enjoy more firsts, some extended family may be more accepting of a younger child than an older one

cons: it can take a lot longer to adopt a child 0-2 if you're looking to straight adopt (not foster), you are working with kids who you can't explain to them what's going on, you still have diapers, you have daycare costs if there isn't one stay at home parent, and some people just don't care for the baby stage as much

5-7: pros: you can converse with them and understand a little more about what's going on in their world, you can do more activities with them, you (generally) don't have to worry about daycare or diapers, it may not take as long to adopt as they are seen as less desireable than babies

Cons: you miss a lot of firsts, the kids may have more emotional and behavioral issues, and bonding may take a lot longer

These are just a few things that come to mind.


God Bless, Kim 

Lunch-Lady
by on Apr. 10, 2013 at 7:28 AM
Thanks for the input ladies. We adopted our son via foster care, getting him at 2 days old and riding the foster care rollercoaster for seven months at which point we were able to adopt. Risking losing him like that was a nightmare for us so now that he's 2 1/2 we're only open to legally free kids. We're told infants and toddlers do come along but we may wait a long time. I'm drawn to older for many of the reasons you are, hubby's heart is set on babies. I'm gathering pros and cons to try to persuade him towards older kids. : )
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harmony7
by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 8:04 AM
1 mom liked this

I have three adopted older children...and in this past three years of life with them...not in a million years would I adopt older children with preschoolers in the house from foster care. I am sure there are exceptions but the additional years of trauma are all consuming of time and energy to get them through the missed stages of development, fears and anxieties on top of the normal milestones they should be hitting. This is not speaking just from my experience but the experience of other moms I know.

I know Raleyfamily and I am sure others have successfully added older with her younger children and there are always exceptions to any situation. I just think we are more the normal. I have had to sacrifice the last three years with my younger two bio children to pour into these three boys...thankfully they are very mature and have poured and worked almost as hard but it is to their sacrifice of a missing mom.

Would we do it again? yes we would as we are just now seeing the rewards with the younger two and they are changing and evolving in wonderful ways but I am so glad we waited until my youngest was old enough to handle the stress.

Pam in Alabama
A Mom to nine sons and one daughter with five still at home
doodlebopfan
by Bronze Member on Apr. 12, 2013 at 8:38 AM
Quoting harmony7:

I have three adopted older children...and in this past three years of life with them...not in a million years would I adopt older children with preschoolers in the house from foster care. I am sure there are exceptions but the additional years of trauma are all consuming of time and energy to get them through the missed stages of development, fears and anxieties on top of the normal milestones they should be hitting. This is not speaking just from my experience but the experience of other moms I know.

I know Raleyfamily and I am sure others have successfully added older with her younger children and there are always exceptions to any situation. I just think we are more the normal. I have had to sacrifice the last three years with my younger two bio children to pour into these three boys...thankfully they are very mature and have poured and worked almost as hard but it is to their sacrifice of a missing mom.

Would we do it again? yes we would as we are just now seeing the rewards with the younger two and they are changing and evolving in wonderful ways but I am so glad we waited until my youngest was old enough to handle the stress.

Your youngest of 7 bio children was 12 when you started, right? And you got the family's input before beginning?
NewbianMama
by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Hi Lunch Lady, I'm in a similar situation, adopting from foster care. I think people often forget that just because a child is older and in foster care doesn't necessarily mean the child has been in care since an infant. Lots of kids come into care as older children. Just wanted to offer another thought.

harmony7
by on Apr. 12, 2013 at 9:48 AM
1 mom liked this

 Yes we knew for years we wanted to adopt our last three children to complete our family  But we did not want to do that until the older children were ready and on board....when we would bring it up our youngest would say...why do you want another? I am the baby!...but when he was 12 he came to us and said I am ready for younger brothers, can we adopt? at that point we sat down all 7 kids even the ones who were no longer at home and discussed the pros and cons of adopting older children and what was fable and fairy tale and as best we could without walking it ...the boys even went to our foster classes...they Needed to understand what this was going to be like..Without a doubt no way we would be as far with these boys as we are if not for the good and solid morals of my older children and the mentors they have been to these boys mirroring rights and wrongs and appropriate behaviour. That peer pressure of good and Godly boys has been paramount in the changes that we do see and in some ways it has offered protection to our family and home because they do strive to be like my older boys in many ways.

And as you know doodle even with that the struggles with our oldest adopted son is not leading to a good outcome...he is better than he was in many ways and I think we can say we gave it all and tried it all but ulitmately it seems the past is not letting go of its hold. He has new tools and a more acceptable way of being in society and I continue to pray that he find his way no matter the outcome of our current situation with him...

But Love and good parents and great families and therapist and doctors and meds seem to not be able to save all these kids..only God can  when a childs heart is willing.

Quoting doodlebopfan:

Your youngest of 7 bio children was 12 when you started, right? And you got the family's input before beginning?

 

Pam in Alabama
A Mom to nine sons and one daughter with five still at home
raleyfamily
by Carla on Apr. 12, 2013 at 9:49 AM

We've done both, and we've done it the foster care route.  To be honest, I never meant to adopt except for the first child.  And actually, it was his older sister and brother I got my fostering license to adopt.  They were in my oldest daughter's foster home (I have seven bio children)  Then it was discovered that the birthmom was pregnant, she got more time, got the two older ones back, and reliquished her baby because it wasn't her boyfriend's child.  He was 18 months when the adoption was final.  The older brother and sister were about seven and five when they went back to bio mom.

Since we had our license, we started to foster, and a year and a half later, we adopted our four year old foster daughter, who had come to live with us when she was 2.  Two weeks after her adoption was final, they asked us to take her five month old baby brother.  We did, and adopted him when he was 18 months old, too.

THEN...about three years after our last adoption, we got a call - those first two children were back in the foster care system, parental rights were already terminated, and they were ready to be adopted.  Oh, yeah, there was also a new little sister...Only now, they were ages fourteen, twelve and little sister was four.  Were we interested?  Yes we were, but wow did we have a rough year and a half - the brother ended up being seperated from the sisters, the adoption agency approved us for adoption and took our homestudy to CPS - only to have them turn us down for being "too religious", then they were kicked out of their foster home and given to another family to adopt, lived there for 8 months, and that family changed their minds and decided not to adopt them after all, at which point, we looked good again.  We finalized in January on the two girls, who now are ages 16 and 6!!

I can't tell you pros and cons from my own experience, because we really didn't choose...God just kept bringing them...

Carla Raley, wife of Bill, mom of 12, foster mom of more than 50
Visit my blogs for stories of the life of an older mom raising a large family, foster/adoption and homeschooling
http://raleyfamilysfarm.blogspot.com/

http://bookreviewsbycarla.blogspot.com/



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