Any tips for older childless couple considering teenage adoption?

Deirdre - posted on 01/29/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )

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We have been married 10 years but were in our late 40s when we met and IVF didn't work for us, in fact I ended up in hospital with a pulmonary embolism. DH is American but we live in Ireland where foster kids can't be adopted and it is very difficult to be approved as foster or adoptive parents, takes years and the SWs apply an age limit of 42 for adoption even though it isn't required by law. I have a green card and we are both retired in our late 50s, thinking of moving to the US so that we can adopt a teenager. Has anyone got advice, opinions or experience that might help us to decide one way or another? I have a lot of friends and family here and it would be a big change for me even without the adoption.

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Deirdre - posted on 02/01/2015

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Thanks for your thoughtful response, Sarah. These are the issues we have thought about and looked into and I came to the conclusion that the potential for adoption cannot be the deciding point in moving to the US or not. I have a career network here (I am only semi-retired!) and many friend, interests and extended family, all of which I would have to give up to move to Colorado which my husband loves but where he doesn't have any roots or contacts to resume. Big decisions! Thanks again.

Sarah - posted on 01/29/2015

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My advise is to live in the US for several years before adopting. Different culture and system you will want to get a custom to before you look into adoption. In most states it is hard to do just adoption through the state you will most likely need to do foster to adopt. The US foster system is not great. By time kids are teens they have most likely been bounced from one place to the next and returned back to their birth parents several times. This leads to trust issues and attachment issues and the older one is (the child) the harder it is to work through those. Do reading on sensory issues and attachment issues. You are not going to be able to change their past. They are going to have issues because of their past......anger, trust, etc. Just because you adopt them does not mean they are going to no longer have those issues. So you have to be prepared that this child may never show or say they love you. They may never trust what you say no matter what you do. They may show anger towards you because you are the only ones that are there. If you have a passion for adopting teens please look into it, but also know the realities of it. It is those that don't know the realities and feel that adopting a teen would "save" them or adopting a teen does not come with multiple issues are the ones that do more damage for that teen.

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