Adopting Older Children: Things to Consider
Nevada Adoption Lawyer Gives Insight into Advantages and Challenges of Adopting Older Children
Studies show that the average age of children in the foster system waiting on adoptions is between eight and nine. That age continuously goes up, since younger children are consistently adopted before older ones, leaving the older children to grow up in foster homes. However, adopting older children may be the best option for some families. All children in foster care need stable, loving families, regardless of their ages, and while an older child adoption may present some unique challenges, it also provides certain advantages to the family as well as the child.
Since 1995, our Nevada adoption lawyer, Eric A. Stovall, has been working with families who choose to adopt. In that time, our law firm has facilitated countless adoptions for children of all ages. If you are considering the adoption of a school-aged child, pre-teen or teenager, we can answer your questions and address your concerns. We can also advocate for you to help ensure the legal process runs smoothly.
Adopting Older Children is the Best Fit for Some Families
Many adoptive parents have their hearts set on finding a newborn, infant, or toddler to adopt. However, others just want to become parents or add to their families by adopting a child of any age. In some cases, adoptive parents want to find a child closer in age to the child or children they already have. In other cases, they may know an older child, perhaps a relative, who needs adoption due to any number of circumstances. Sometimes, families considering adoption will first become foster parents and then discover that they wish to adopt an older child they are fostering.
No matter why you are considering adopting an older child, Nevada adoption lawyer Eric A. Stovall can assist you.
He can help you decide if adopting older children is the right path for you by answering your questions about this and any other types of adoption. Our law firm can provide you with insight into the adoption process. We have worked with hundreds of families and can also address any practical concerns you may have about adoption.
How is Adopting Older Children Different?
The process of adopting older children is similar to other types of adoption. However, one major difference is that Nevada adoption laws may classify a “waiting child” in the foster system over the age of five as a special needs child. This means that an adopting family may qualify for additional assistance from the state.
Additionally, children above a certain age must give their legal consent to the adoption. In Nevada, consent is required for the adoption of any child over the age of 14. The biological parents must also all give consent, unless the courts terminated their parental rights. While younger teens and preteens are not legally obligated to consent to an adoption, they are often still part of the decision-making process. After all, children older than a few years can understand and have an opinion about what is happening to them.
Older children waiting for adoption may also have a longer and more difficult history than infants and toddlers. These children may have faced more hardships in life than seems possible. As a result, they may have a tough time adjusting to life with a new family, even if they consented to the process. Some may face emotional difficulties and/or require long-term counseling. Others may need additional help in school or may struggle to adapt socially with their peers.
However, older children also bring their own unique personalities and strengths into their adoptive homes. Frequently they have a complete understanding of how much they want and need an adoptive family in a way that younger children cannot comprehend. As a result, adopting older children can be a fulfilling, emotionally rewarding experience for both children and adoptive families.
Questions About Adopting Older Children? Our Reno Adoption Lawyer Has Answers
Nevada adoption lawyer Eric A. Stovall has dedicated his practice to working with families to create loving and supportive homes for children in need. There are many different ways to adopt. Our law firm has the experience to handle adoptions regardless of which avenue you choose. Additionally, we understand how emotional this process can be for you and for the child, and we are here for you. Please contact our law firm now to set up a consultation.