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The Impact of Adopting on Birth Children.

12 replies

ChunkysMum · 08/06/2012 21:58

DH and I have one biological DD.

We are considering adopting future DC/s. It is a big decision and we want to be fully informed and take our time over it.

The biggest consideration at the moment is what effect of any issues that our adoptive DC may have will be on DD. Also, how DDs reaction to any issues may cause difficulties for our adoptive DC.

Can anyone tell us your experience of adopting with a biological child, how you've coped and how you've managed to ease the transition for all DCs involved?

OP posts:
Devora · 08/06/2012 22:22

Hi, we adopted a 10 mo baby 2 years ago, when our dd1 was 4.

It is a huge consideration, obviously, and always a leap of faith. So far, it has been very positive for us. Our daughters squabble and bicker, obviously, but they love each other very much and are really bonded as sisters. But we won't know for a long while yet whether downsides may emerge, and whether they will outweigh the upsides.

It's a huge issue and I'm a bit tired right now but very happy to talk more, either here or PM me.

cory · 08/06/2012 23:12

No experience of adopting but I was an older birth sibling. I adored my little brother (still do, really), but didn't really feel that differently about him compared to my other brothers who were biological. We found the whole adoption process - foreign orphanage etc- quite romantic at the time, but once he was there he just slotted into the family. He was very prone to raging tantrums throughough childhood, but we pretty well took that in our stride, like any other of all the little quirks and peculiarities you get in a large family..

And as a matter of fact, my (biological) dd had exactly the same type of tantrums and her brother had to put up with that.

Italiangreyhound · 09/06/2012 00:21

Hi ChunkysMum Thanks for asking this question. I am not an adopter yet but we have a DD aged 7 who is a birth child and we are considering adoption, we can't start for 4 months or so because we only had our last round of IVF in March. I am very keen to adopt if it is right, and the right child for our family. Our birth DD has to be my priority until another child joins the family. Then I would need to consider them equally. Anyway, just wanted to say hi and all best wishes, if you do find any interesting articles etc, please do let me know. By the way we have been considering this for a couple of years. We were not eligable to adopt in our area until our DD turned 5, but different areas vary.

MayaAngelCool · 09/06/2012 00:26

Devora, did you adopt a baby from the UK, or abroad? I'm assuming UK as you already had a child.

We've been considering adopting an older child but I think with our careers plus two children that might be far more than we can manage.

Devora · 09/06/2012 23:05

Yes, Maya, we adopted within the UK.

FamiliesShareGerms · 11/06/2012 07:10

We adopted in the Uk quite recently with a birth child already. DS adores his little sister, she adores him, and I suspect at the moment they are closer than any birth siblings I know (probably a phase, but it's lovely for now!).

We involved DS in the approval process as much as possible. He's six, so old enough to have some conversations about what it would be like to have someone else in the family, and in very mild terms why children need adoption etc. He desperately wanted a little brother or sister, and we had to manage his expectations that it might not happen. We didn't tell him about DD until we had been to matching panel, just in case it fell through for some reason. In addition, I think we took longer through the approval process than otherwise because we needed to be absolutely sure that we were doing the right thing for our family. We also said no to lots of conditions that otherwise we might have considered, because of the likely impact on DS. I think the large-ish age gap (4.5 years) helps him feel like a real big brother.

My parents were really worried about the impact of an adopted child on DS, but so far I can honestly say that anything that has come up between them has been normal sibling stuff, not "birth child v adopted child" stuff. I'm sure it will at some point, but it's still early days for us and nothing has arisen yet.

As an aside, you mentioned adopting an older child: not sure how old your DD is, but we started out with the thought we might adopt a child older than our DS, but were quickly told that wouldn't happen, as the research shows it is best if adopted children are at least 2 years younger than any children already in the family unit (something about not upsetting the pecking order, and reducing competition by not being at the same developmental stage).


Italiangreyhound · 11/06/2012 17:12

Familiessharegerms lovely to hear from you and to hear how well things are going. It is a real inspiration. I would love to hear some of your matching criteria (if you would be willing to share - or PM me, please, no worries if not). I am also looking to adopt and our DD is now 7, she will be 8 or almst 9 before we get anywhere, so the age gap will be 4, 5 or 6 years probably depending how it all works out and how long it all takes.

FamiliesShareGerms · 11/06/2012 18:46

Hi Italian, do you mean what we said we would and wouldn't consider, or what panel approved us for?

Italiangreyhound · 11/06/2012 20:35

Familiessharegerms I am not sure what I meant really!

I guess anything you are willing to share.

I really do not want to pry and after I typed it I did feel maybe I was asking too much!

I guess at the moment my main concern is for DD and any child we managed to adopt to get along well and not to have too many problems. DD has had a few tantrums (and she is 7) so sometimes a bit immature - although also brilliant and I am sure she will grow up to be an entrepreneur! Wink. I wonder how she will behave with another child in the house. I expect she will love the child and be a great big sister. She has already said she would like us to adopt!

I think if the child has lots of emotional problems we will all deal with the situations together but I suppose I also want to protect my DD from too many problems.

Some situations may be easier to deal with. I know in my heart what I think I can cope with (in terms of behaviour or problems) but there might be some evidence that some situations are easier to deal with when you have a birth child and some are much harder (??).

I am probably not making much sense! I suppose if it were just me or just me and DH we would be more open to behavioural problems or complicated history! I am just saying what I think - I know everyone is different and everyone's kids are different. My birth DD was brilliantly behaved up to 4 and for the last three years at school she has struggled, still struggles to read. Although everyone says she is very well behaved at school, and at friends' houses, she is quite a handful at home.

No worries if you can't share things, it is your family and I don?t want to pry too much into your personal situation - it would just be good if you had read anything.

One example might be that DH and I would find it easier to parent another girl but I wonder if DD would find it easier if the new child in the family were a boy - or a girl who she might have more in common with (there will be a big age gap). If we had had a birth child we would have had no choice in the matter of gender at all, so part of me wants to be totally open! But part of me thinks if our family would be better suited to some children then it would be good to know. Does any of that make sense?? Thanks, Italian.

Italiangreyhound · 11/06/2012 20:36

Sorry Chunkysmum with butting in with a big question!

FamiliesShareGerms · 11/06/2012 20:41

I'll PM you - don't want to upset people who have had no choice but to deal with those things.

Italiangreyhound · 11/06/2012 21:44

Thank you Familiessharegerms.

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