The Adoptee Has a Say
It may come as a surprise, but in most states, the adoptee has a say in the adoption process. NC adoption law states that if the child is 12 or older, their consent is needed to proceed with the adoption. Having them involved in the process gives them a voice they maybe didn’t have in the past and allows them to grow closer to their potential adopters.
Are Older Children Harder to Adopt Than Younger Ones?
Not at all. Considering there are more than 400,000 children in the foster care system and 25% of those are looking to get adopted, adding to your family shouldn’t be an issue.
However, if you have other children in your household, many agencies prefer not to disrupt the birth order. For example, if your eldest child is 10, adopting children younger than that is desired. This is a difficult hurdle if your oldest child is 3, but you’re looking to adopt a teenager. While still possible, it may cause anger and resentment in your other children, so it’s best to think twice about your decision and receive as much guidance as possible from those helping you through the adoption process.
Deciding to adopt a baby can take years, but if you’re looking for an older child, the time frame is usually much quicker.
Access to Benefits
When adopting an older child, that child may have a past that includes some or all of the following: various types of abuse, mental health issues, or physical issues. In order to help that child and their adoptive family, access to mental health assistance, advocacy and support groups, services for special needs children, and other therapeutic services are available for North Carolina adoptions.
While most children desire a permanent home and family, they may have witnessed quite a bit in their young lives. Being shuffled from foster home to foster home, abuse, and attachment issues make fitting in with their adoptive family a struggle. Patience is key. These children still need love and attention.
As an adoptive parent, knowing that you may face issues, whether behavioral, physical, or mental, is the key to success. Learning how to help the child cope and adjust, even if professional help is needed, is paramount.