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Adoption of an older child can bring unique rewards

Many people who choose to adopt shy away from older children for a variety of reasons. Some like to raise a child from infancy. Others may assume that for children who haven't been adopted when they're very young, there must be some reason. Consequently, too many children never get a chance to have a family they can call their own.

One author and adoptive father of three says that while there are challenges to adopting an older child, like the fact that it may take longer for the child to trust you, there are also unique rewards. The author, who with his wife adopted one child who was five and another who was 15, discusses some of these rewards.

Unlike children who are adopted as infants or toddlers, children who are school-age are aware of what belonging to a family means. They understand what they have been missing.

Generally, older children know more of their biological family history than younger children do. They typically have some knowledge of their birth parents and the events that took them away. This can prevent the uncertainty that many adopted kids carry with them, sometimes forever. It helps them move forward with their lives.

Older children are able to participate to some degree in the decisions that impact their lives. This can be essential in helping them feel part of their new family.

Adopting an older child can be a rewarding experience for parents because these kids are usually less likely to find permanent homes than infants. Instead of giving in to the need that many people have to raise a child from infancy, parents are helping a child who may not otherwise be adopted through no fault of his or her own. The author notes that adopting an older child "can rewrite fate."

Louisianans who are interested in adopting a child who has passed infancy should discuss their wishes with an experienced adoption attorney. Sound legal advice is essential in any adoption process to help ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible and that you can begin your new lives as a family as soon as possible.

Source: Huffington Post, "The 7 Best Things About Adopting an Older Child," June 24, 2014

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