Adopting an older child, and a teen in particular, is one full of overwhelming emotions. Older children come into the adoption community by involuntary circumstances or government intervention. Unlike children adopted as infants, older adoptees will know their biological parents and have to differentiate between the two. Teen adoptees stand out even further because of the hormonal changes they're experiencing, which can often heighten the extremity with which they emote.
Teen adoption is one of the most challenging for adoptive parents. By the time a teen is adoptable, he or she may have already been in the foster system for a few years and dealt with the birth parent rejection or traumas that brought them into foster care. Teen adoptees are more likely to have strong opposition and trust issues when it comes to adults. Conversely, while a teen is acting radically he or she may even speak opening about love for a birth parent. This is something adoptive parents will need to accept as a way for teens to cope with the complexity of their situation. Teen adoptees may independently visit their birth mother or father without consent, although it's something that may need to be encouraged unless it becomes emotionally confusing. Adoptive families should develop trust with the teen and lead by example. Allowing an adoptee to experience whatever feelings are coming from the adoption or foster experience is paramount to the adjustment process and their ability to develop relationships in the future.