Birth order is important and the decision to disrupt birth order through adoption should not be taken lightly. The term “birth order” is a misnomer, since it really doesn’t matter whether the existing children are part of the family through birth or adoption. A better term would be “disrupting the order of children in the family”, but that is likely never to catch on.
Families that are interested in adopting older kids are often faced with the decision of whether to disrupt the order of children in their family. Many adoption professionals have routinely advised against this practice, but this advice is not backed by research. There is simply no research that we have been able to find on this issue one way or the other. Many families have adopted out of birth order successfully and we include parenting tips gleaned from their experience.
When talking about adopting out of birth order, it is best to throw “always” and “never” out the window, and replace them with “sometimes”. Adopting out of birth order is neither always a good idea or never a good idea; it is sometimes a good idea. Check out our rules for successfully adopting out of birth order.
Resources on Disrupting Birth Order Through Adoption:
To find voices against adopting out of birth order, simply type that phrase in a search engine and many adoption forum discussions will pop up. It is a popular topic on many adoption forums, but I caution you to note how many are written by those who have experienced it. It is not for everyone or for every family. The needs and resources of all family members must be considered, but there are many families that have done it and done it well.
When Parents Adopt Out of Birth Order by Lois Melina. Conventional wisdom says not to adopt a child out of birth order. Yet there are many reasons why this choice may be right for you—and many ways to make it work.
The Voice of Adventure Blog is a great blog in general and the mom wrote a particularly great blog on adopting out of birth order. She raised an interesting point that the vehement objectors are usually those who have not done it.
An essay by a family that adopted an 8 year old when their younger child was a preschooler. Not much detail on the transition.
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