Table of Contents


  1. Preparing for Adoption
    Looks at reasons families chose older child adoption as well as covers a variety of areas to consider before bringing a new older child into your home and family.
  2. Commonly Held Expectations
    Includes parents’ common expectations because every parent who adopts an older child, whether they realize it or not, has expectations for themselves, their child, their family, the adoption process, and for how life will be with a new child.
  3. Adjusting to Life with Your New Child
    Includes challenges parents experienced as they adjusted to life with their new child as well as challenges in parenting.
  4. Family Adjustments
    Describes some of the ways older child adoption can impact your family as well as ideas to help existing children adjust. Also contains ideas to help strengthen family connections.
  5. Your New Child Adjusting
    Focuses on children’s preparations and expectations for their adoption, their sleep struggles, and their adjustments to life with their new family. Also includes suggestions for trying to build trust.
  6. Their Past and Identity Struggles
    Includes general information about children’s past experiences, their grief and identity struggles, and the notion of connecting with their culture and people from their past.
  7. Child Abuse
    Includes stories and information on child neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. Also provides possible ways to handle discussions of abuse and the potential need for providing supervision.
  8. Their Developmental Skills
    Defines a variety of skills and identifies common delays parents noticed in their children. Ideas on how to help children improve in lagging areas are also provided.
  9. Problems Related to Food
    Includes some of the difficulties children and parents faced regarding challenges with food as well as some approaches parents took to help children gain healthy perspectives of food.
  10. House Rules, Consequences, and Rewards
    Includes common house rules and parents’ struggles to gain compliance from their children. Various approaches to consequences and rewards are included.
  11. Assigning Chores
    Identifies how different families approached chores and includes a compiled list of chores families assigned to their children. Differences between praise and encouragement as well as other suggestions and potential solutions to chores is also covered.
  12. Communication Challenges
    Reviews challenges families experienced in communicating with their new child and briefly describes different personality types.
  13. Challenging Behaviors
    Examines behaviors such as lying, manipulation, disrespect, tantrums, verbal aggression, and physical aggression as well as ways to potentially address each behavior.
  14. Ways to Cope with Stress
    Emphasizes the importance of coping in healthy ways and provides an extensive list of coping strategies.
  15. Education
    Reviews educational challenges such as learning, social, emotional, and behavioral struggles. Topics also include grade placement, educational expectations, and school choice.
  16. Sex Education
    Discusses the complexity of sex education without knowing the child’s past experiences. Further includes resources available for parents to educate their child about sex.
  17. Preparing for Adulthood
    Addresses the struggle of teaching children the necessary skills for independent living and the limited time in which to prepare them. Ideas on how to teach through experience are offered.
  18. Love for Your Child
    Acknowledges the struggle some parents have feeling love for their child and provides ideas on how to express love anyway.
  19. External Support System
    Emphasizes the importance of support from friends and family. Ideas on how to seek support are offered.
  20. Interventions and Resources
    Reviews interventions and helpful resources to help your child and family.
  21. Wisdom from Those Who Have Been There
    Includes words of wisdom and encouragement shared by those who have adopted older children.
  22. Ending an Adoption
    Offers stories of families who chose to end their adoption. Also includes guidance for those considering ending their adoption.


  • Study Details
  • Helpful Information for Family and Friends
  • Selecting a Therapist or Counselor
  • Selecting a Respite Provider or Potential New Placement
  • Helpful Books by Topic
  • Cited References