I wanted to address kate's
"I am wondering why so many agencies discourage out-of-birth-order adoption. All anyone says is that it's not a good idea. WHY is it not a good idea? What if a family has a big gap? Does that make a difference?"
I think the idea behind adopting a child that is younger than your other children may be because the youngest children in the family usually need and receive the most attention from the parents, since adopted kids are usually very needy (whether they appear to be or not) it might be difficult to also care for the children who are younger than them. In some respects, this coincides with adopting a very young child. Thus allowing the parents to go through each developmental stage with the child as they grow. I think it is seen as the natural order of things. When parents have bio children the new child is always the youngest. It is understood and expected that this child will get the most attention due to their young age.
However, I know that there are many families who have successfully adopted older children out of birth order. I think that each child and each family is different. I am in no way advocating or condemning older child or out of birth order adoptions. I am just explaining why I think adoption agencies tend to discourage out of birth order adoptions.
There are a lot of older children out there that would never get adopted if preadoptive parents put too much emphasis on the birth order issue. I think it is more important that these kids get families than whether or not they join a family at the end or the middle.
I would be happy to hear from any of you on what your views are on this issue.
I was also thinking more about my post "Should You Adopt If You Have Young Children?". Tonya's
comment made me think more about this:
"In our case (we had a 9,7,5 and 3 year old at the time of our 22 month old's adoption) it was a HUGE help, not a hinderance at all. Lyra adapted amazingly quickly to family life and strongly and truly attached to us all pretty much right away. I think having so many small kids in the house made her feel very comfortable and very much a part of the group. She is constantly talking about "my fam-il-lee" and naming us all and talking about how much we all love each other. It is very cute. I love having all my kids close in age. They have a lot of fun together. I would do the same thing over again in a heartbeat."
In this case, her children were young, but not younger than her adopted daughter. I think if Tonya had also had a 6 month old, it might have been a more difficult transition. However, it seemed to be great for her daughter to have siblings close in age to her. I was thinking that it was good for Piney that her older brother's (age 9, 13, 15) were not needing a lot of extra attention due to their older age, but on the other hand she doesn't have anyone close to her age to play with.
My oldest two boys were 18 months apart and they played together all the time and really enjoyed having a brother so close in age. However, they also fought all the time (he hit me, he took my toy, he won't play my game, etc.). After having my third son 4 years later I decided that it was easier for the mom to have a big age gap, but more fun for the kids to be closer in age.
I grew up with a sister 18 months older than me, a brother 2 years younger and another brother 18 months younger than him. We were very close in age, and we had a blast with all of our games and fort building and outside play. I think it was hard for my mom (especially since she went on to having several more children after that), but she wouldn't have had it any other way.
I think it is great to have siblings close together if the mom (and dad) don't mind the extra work involved and have a lot of support. These types of families can have a lot of fun together and be really close.
If there is a large age gap between siblings, they can still interact, it is just a different kind of interaction. I think it requires the parents to be more active in setting up play dates and even bringing friends along on vacations, so they can form good relationships with kids close to their children's ages.
There are successful families of all shapes, sizes and arrangements. I think what matters most is the commitment to the family and putting the family first.
What do you think?
Labels: birth order and child spacing in adoption