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Old 04-07-2008, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Manchester, NH
282 posts, read 1,070,615 times
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I don't know where you live, but there is an organization in my area that can help you with your research, etc. Casey Family Services offers many services in the area of foster care and adoption,et. Casey Family Services
There are many waiting children out there who do not have Reactive Attachment Disorder, but some that do. You are always taking a chance with children--your own biological children could have severe disabilities and you wouldn't love them any less......Good luck to you.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Bora Bora: Vava'u.
738 posts, read 1,692,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frogandtoad View Post
Wow, I would not look at it as a noble task. I think you'd be setting yourself up for heartache. I have adopted, but not an older child. I did look into it, and I would highly recommend some SERIOUS discussions with a social worker (or two or three). The idea that it's "noble" can wear off pretty quickly if your child has serious attachment or behavior issues (both of which are very possible with the age you are talking about). I would be pretty surprised if you'd be approved for 2 older child adoptions at once with no parenting experience, but even if you are...again....it may be too much and you should really understand what you are getting into. RAD is very very common. Many of these kids have histories of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Love is NOT always enough to help them.

Older child adoption is not really a way to just make a happy family--it's for someone who understand their entire lives and financial lives could be permanently taken over by the situation. This is one big reason why people do infant adoption--if you're just looking for a child to make your family complete, I'd think about infant adoption. There are long waits for healthy white children in this country, but there are many Hispanic and Black and Mixed babies (healthy) who are waiting for homes and cost is reduced b/c they are waiting.

If you are set on older child adoption, I would suggest talking to Adoption Advocates International in WA state (whether you live in WA or not). They place older children from several countries (including the US), but from lots of research I can say that I would be most likely to adopt an older child from Ethiopia. The reason is that those kids have loved and been loved, and not been abused. They are up for adoption b/c their parents died or cannot afford them, but they have always known love and known stability and family until going to the orphanage. With kids who have known love like this, it is far far less likely that they will have lasting emotional problems or RAD (though of course they will grieve at the loss of their family, their country, etc). They can love again and adjust very well. I do not work for any adoption agency or have any personal interest in this--it's just what I learned when looking into adoption and deciding what we could/could not handle (and we felt we could not handle on-going issues of violence, RAD, etc which is common in older child adoption in the US)

Don't take only my word for it, or only the word of a few people on this board. Research extensively so that, if you do decide to move forward, you are fully prepared for what is ahead. This is much fairer for you and for the child you ultimately adopt.

Good luck.
I agree totally.
I am a legal guardian of a 12yo RAD child. She cam to us at 5yo.
I thought she would be like a typical child. I have raised 2.
How dead wrong I was !!!!!!
There are no emotions. There is no reciprocal love. There is heartache, tears, stress, failure at every attempt you try to make. EXHAUSTION-The list goes on and on.
Each child has his/her own history or baggage. Too complex for most to try to comprehend. Too hard emotionally, mentally and physically on a parent.
The RAD child sees, hears, acts, smells, lives to :
ALL FOR ME AND ME FOR ME

You are truly wonderful. I give you all the respect you deserve. Please- be careful and really really search your heart and mind because it isn't the way that you thought it would be. I know. I am there.
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Old 04-28-2008, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,082 posts, read 4,293,207 times
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I am one of six siblings, with three adopted siblings. They were 5, 4, and almost 3 when adopted. I can't say they did not cause my parents some issues, but all kids do. As their sister, I was 11 when they came to live with us and 12 when they were adopted. I fully and completely think of them as family, and so did my parents and other siblings.
If you adopt an older (7 or older) then you need to spend some time with him or her to find out the kind of person they have already become to make sure that you can accept them completely and fully, because that is all anyone is really hoping for in life. And remember, all kids are challenging at times--including when they hit the preteen and teen years. Happy parenting.
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:23 PM
 
1,628 posts, read 5,884,677 times
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Originally Posted by esya View Post
If you adopt an older (7 or older) then you need to spend some time with him or her to find out the kind of person they have already become to make sure that you can accept them completely and fully, because that is all anyone is really hoping for in life. .
Unfortunately this is not true. It sounds like your family worked out well and there were not major unsurmountable issues. This is not the case in many situations with older domestic adoption.

When people say you take a chance with any child...severe issues caused by molestation, neglect and the like are not chances you take with bio children, nor with infant adoption. It's a whole different ballgame. There are lots of resources on this. Please don't just listen to this thread--do research on your own. A lot of it, so you know what is likely and what is not and how these things could play out.

Love is NOT always enough. Nor is time, money, or dedication.
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,591,820 times
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I can offer you some advice from another stand point- Im head of the special education dept for a K-12 school. I can tell you that many students I see that have learning and behavioral disorder have been adopted (not at birth). I suggest that if you are serious about a specifice child, request a psychoeduational evaluation be done. Im not sure if you can do this but it's worth a shot.. This will tell you if they are functioning within normal cognitive levels. Not so much if they are SMART, but what their strenghts are as far as communication and other important factors.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:00 AM
 
29 posts, read 101,589 times
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As far as the cost of adopting a child from foster care goes, I do believe if anything it would be minimal. I personally think adopting a child, especially an older child from foster care is a good thing. No matter how old a child is when adopted, they still need basically the same thing unfortunately this gets overlooked often because most people want to adopt babies. Yes, they come with "baggage" as some people put it, (I personally don't like that term) but through no choice of their own. I can't say I agree with love not always being enough nor time or money but I come from a different perspective. I was a foster child who had some pretty severe issues including molestation from the ages of 3-15, neglect, physical abuse, mental abuse, the list goes on. However, wrapping every single one of these kids and putting them in a neat little box saying that they are "unfixable or unlovable" or whatever other term you want to use, and that they can't be helped, is just plain wrong. Trust, security and safety is a big thing when kids experience things like this and so is love and acceptance. Most of these kids in foster care have been rejected in one way or another and abused most of their lives so their trust has to be earned and is not freely given. Most have learned that when someone is "nice" to them, something bad is about to happen, this has to be unlearned. Yes, there are some that can't be reached however, most of them can be, if the time is taken to get beneath the surface facade they carry around with them. Afterall, look what they had to live through. There are good and bad foster parents out there, that I can attest to. The foster parents I lived with from 15-18 saved my life in more ways then one and they did it out of love, trust, acceptance and dedication. I guess it just takes a special type of person to see that to make the difference in the life of that child. I bet if you asked my foster parents even to this day, they would have absolutely no regrets in welcoming me into their home and their lives.
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Old 06-23-2008, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,082 posts, read 4,293,207 times
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Frog and Toad: I do not understand how you can say you don't take risks with birth children. There seems to be this fantasy that a parent will love and protect a birth child from all pain and suffering and a parent will never let anything bad happen and they will be born and grow up perfectly. Birth kids also get diseased after birth, get bullied or abused by random people they meet, get into accidents, loose limbs, become mentally ill as teenagers, get in the wrong social group, get afoul of the law, inherit a terrible condition such as a predisposition to alcoholism--life is full of tragedies that we do not control nor do we know when they arrive. Same thing with adoptions--you are adopting some mysteries, just as you are with birth kids.
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Old 06-23-2008, 05:35 PM
 
3,191 posts, read 8,226,340 times
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AMEN esya!
There are no guarantees either way! You can have a birth child and have a monster from hades take over you life, or adopt a child that is the next best thing to sliced bread. OR vice versa. (I was the second,ha ha, even though my mom and dad worried horribly that I could have 'inherited' mental illnesses, but I didn't, I'm as smart as a whip, LOL)


kattygirl27- do continue to research this. Don't limit yourself to the state, as there are many fine private organizations out there ( such as Bethany Bethany Christian Services Adoption Agency I only know of them becasue someone I once knew works there in the Macon Ga location)
Here is a link about adoption costs on their site Financing Adoption, Cost of Adoption (http://www.bethany.org/A55798/bethanyWWW.nsf/c79edbd86c517a1d852569c800702556/5bc861840817259285256d9e0066de24?OpenDocument - broken link)
There will be pros and cons, as there are to everything in life...

bless you for even thinking of adopting an older child, especially from the U.S. It is a huge task, so as you forge ahead be prepared for fears & tears....and unexpected joys.
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:25 PM
 
65 posts, read 182,273 times
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All I can say is educate yourself first . We had been Foster Parents in our state for 6 years and had 45 kids. THe oldest was 12. We adopted three kids from Babies and wanted to adopt two other children, eveb started the process but couldn't. One had RAD and we loved her and she was here for three years. But RAD is very hard to live with and please be careful about taking a child with this issue. What I have seen with older kids and from talking with other Foster parents that have had older kids. Older kids have histories with the birth families. Sometimes those bonds are hard to let go of and hard for the child to let another family in. I would perhaps Foster first and get some traning. There are soo many children that are older needing homes but sometimes even with love and good intentions it can be very hard.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:48 PM
 
1,628 posts, read 5,884,677 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esya View Post
Frog and Toad: I do not understand how you can say you don't take risks with birth children. There seems to be this fantasy that a parent will love and protect a birth child from all pain and suffering and a parent will never let anything bad happen and they will be born and grow up perfectly. Birth kids also get diseased after birth, get bullied or abused by random people they meet, get into accidents, loose limbs, become mentally ill as teenagers, get in the wrong social group, get afoul of the law, inherit a terrible condition such as a predisposition to alcoholism--life is full of tragedies that we do not control nor do we know when they arrive. Same thing with adoptions--you are adopting some mysteries, just as you are with birth kids.

I am not saying you don't take risks with birth children. You take risks with any child. However, if you are adopting an older child there are some risks which are quite common and can be devastating. As they are common, they should not be taken lightly. The whole "just love her and all will be well" is often not the way it works.

I have bio and adopted children, and there are no guarantees. However, risks of certain things (like continuous molestation, like continuous abuse, like RAD, etc) are quite high with domestic older child adoption. All I am saying is do not get caught up in the moment. Do the research. Be honest with yourself whether or not you can handle this. Speak with people who have been through it. My basic point is don't take it lightly and don't go with the "it can happen with bio kids too" approach. The chance of a child having severe psychological issues is way higher with older child adoption than with a stable family life for a bio child.

Understand the risks and assess if you're prepared for them. Don't rely on this thread. Do independent research. Honestly I don't understand how you could disagree with a suggestion to become well educated on the subject, take the risks seriously and determine whether it's an appropriate thing to take on.

For some things in life, you cannot prepare or assess your ability to handle them. But when there are risks which are quite common, why would you not?
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