During adoption counseling, very rarely I come across a topic that is non-receptive to prospective adoptive parents (PAP) except for a few and adopting an older child is one among them. Thinking that adopting an older child is like adopting a young child is foolhardy. This blogpost will take you on journey to convince yourself to adopt an older child if it’s not in your preferences.
So, why do families resist an older child? There could be any number of reasons but most often expressed are fear of child remembering his childhood, child having adjustment issues or desiring to nurture a child from a very young age. They are genuine issues and needs assurance.
About the child remembering his/ her childhood, I always ask the PAP’s to tell me what they remember about his/ her 5th birthday. With a big grin they tell me of no recollection. Fact of the matter is that it is not you have forgotten but at that age your long term memory is not yet been formed and it also applies to the grown (3, 4 or 5 years old) child to be adopted.
About the child having adjustment issues, undoubtedly sometimes children can carry the psychological scars of long term institutionalization but what I had learnt in my experience and observation is that the unconditional love heals such wounds gradually and permanently.
Since most of the families in India desire to adopt a young child, preference to adopt an older child can help you shorten your waiting period or to adopt a second child which most adoption agencies do not entertain for the reason that there are families waiting with no children at all.