Adopting an Older Child from Foster Care

older child adoptionOkay, every agency and every Special Needs proponent urges families to try and foster a child over the age of 3, which seems both extra-brave, courageous and loving… and somewhat stupid.

Yes, stupid. But loving. I tell you one thing, it’s also a lot easier. Exact numbers surge when it comes to adopting an older child (they are often called Special Needs kids simply because their age makes it tough to adopt them out).

More than 100,000 children in the U.S. are living with loving and caring foster families, but these children are still waiting for families to adopt them and to give them a permanent home. Children in foster care who are waiting to be adopted cannot return to their birth families. They need new parents to love and take care of them.

They are often older children from racial or ethnic minorities, or children waiting to be adopted as a group with their brothers and sisters. Most important, they have been hurt by abuse and neglect as well as from having to leave their family and everything that they knew.

The adoption of older children who have been removed from their parents is usually because they have been abused or neglected and cannot return to those parents. These children have been in the care of the State and are in foster care while they wait for a permanent home. They and their siblings may have emotional, behavioral, developmental, or medical challenges. Most, if not all of the costs associated with the adoption of older children are paid by the State.

What if an older adopted child menaces my biological son Sam, 5? What is an older adopted child can’t attach and love our family?

In Los Angeles there are well over 30,000 older kids who need help and fostering right now! This one below broke my heart:

Children of the Night. Dedicated to assisting children between the ages of 11-17 who are sexually abused and forced to prostitute on the streets for food and shelter. Services include nationwide 24-hour free hotline, a street outreach program and a 24-bed shelter home with a private on-site school.

Comment  if you’ve adopted and older child and can share the details!

Add a Comment
Back To The Adoption Diaries, by Nicole Dorsey-Straff
  1. by Lori :)

    On September 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    I’m not sure I understand your article? Are you FOR adopting older foster kids, or against it? Are you thinking about adopting one yourself (is your son named Sam?)? Were you saying in the beginning that it’s stupid for the agencies to urge families to foster past the age of 3 – or stupid for the families to do it? If they don’t – who will? Or were you saying it was stupid for someone to adopt one past the age of 3 (because what if the older child “menaces” your bio kid, or can’t attach and love)?
    I’ve read this article 3-4 times now – and can’t truly figure out your position or if you are just putting a query out there?
    Thanks for any clarification you can give. :)

  2. by Lori :)

    On September 3, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    BTW – I forgot to say – we adopted a 3 1/2 year old little girl – but from Guatemala (not through the foster system). She had been living in an orphanage since she was 1 1/2. She is truly a blessing and has bonded with us and our 4 other kids beautifully!

    L :)

  3. by Wesley

    On September 4, 2011 at 11:16 am

    My wife and I are in the process of adopting a group of three between 12 & 7, with one beig severely ADHD piled on top of learning disabilities.

    The most difficult part for me has been adjusting to their already developed personalities. The effects of neglect not just from their birth parents but from their foster parents may be subtle, but they can impact these kids for a long time. We didn’t have the luxury of getting to know them as they develop from birth. Our priority is getting them on the bus by themselves in the morning and dealing with the behavioral problems after supper.

    The other major hurdle we’ve faced is just the bureaucracy of the state. We understand why all these regulations are here, but it’s almost as though they don’t want these kids adopted, by the amount of red tape they wrap us up in. It took us over two years just to get licensed, and now our finalization date has been moved back something like four times, literally because some clerk used the wrong phrase on some legal document when the were taken int permanent custody three years ago.

  4. by Irene

    On September 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    My aunt & uncle adopted a 14 year old boy. His mom died when he was little & his dad is serving jail time on drug charges. You hear horror stories about adopting older children. This hasn’t been the case for us. He has been such a blessing to our family. He fit in right from the beginning. He’s now almost 19 and in his first year of college & we are all so proud if him. If you have the means to, please adopt these older children. They will greatly enrich your life & you will give them a forever family which is priceless.

  5. by Amy M

    On September 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

    We adopted a sibling group of 3. They were 4,5, and 6 when they were placed in our home as foster children. The adoption was finalized at ages 6, 7, and 8. This process is not without challenges. Our children are very well adjusted, but it was a long process. I advise anyone thinking about this route to do their research. Talk to other foster parents. Every child is different and comes from different circumstances. No one can tell you what your outcome will be, but the more information you have will prepare you to meet the challenge of raising these wonderful children.

  6. by nicole Dorsey

    On September 5, 2011 at 10:26 am

    To clarify for Lori and others, I write this blog to understand the prcess of adoption: My husband and I have a bilogical son Sam, 5, and we are actively looking to adopt. Paperwork has begun, we’ve picked an international agency but don’t have that first chunk of $15,000!! So we are looking into fostercare and we are also going thru foster training starting next week. I will blog about all of it but I mostly want to hear from all of you for inspiration and help!

  7. by Tabitha

    On September 29, 2011 at 11:42 am

    We are also going through the process of adopting legally free foster kids through our state agency. I think the primary thing to remember with these kids is that yes, they have behavioral issues that require special help, but these issues are not their fault. They are victimized first by terrible parenting, failed reunification attempts, and often through multiple foster care placements. It takes a special parent to take this on; make sure to do your research. The last thing you want is to add to a child’s pain by not following through.

  8. by Gabriela Oommen

    On November 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Nicole Scherzinger has explained that she’s happy that she succeeded Cheryl Cole with regards to the X-Factor USA. She believes that she is undoubtedly ‘better served’ as a judge than as a host.

  9. by listwy podłogowe

    On November 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  10. by Arbys coupons

    On January 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I really enjoy your blog theme. Is it available for download? free of charge? Cheers

  11. by Cracker Barrel coupons

    On January 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I like your theme. Would you mind sharing where do i can download it? Is it free? All the best

  12. by Free Club Pogo Pass

    On January 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How often do you update your blog?

  13. by Carls Jr coupons

    On January 11, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Thanks, Ill try and check back more often. How often do you update your website?

  14. by Captain Ds Coupons

    On January 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

    As a website owner I believe the subject matter here is reallywonderful. I appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  15. by Valrie Daughtry

    On January 30, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Thanks for your tips. It was fun reading this strory ! Click Here