Teenage Adoption

A 2009 Factsheet for Families by the Child Welfare Information Gateway warns adoptive parents against putting too much pressure on a teenager just because of his or her physical development. A teenager is still developing an identity, independence and intimacy, which the CWIG factsheet points out, is affected by being adopted.

During one's teenage years, a child's ability to reason, control impulses, regulate moods, empathize, set priorities and make judgments about their behavior are all still developing, according to the CWIG factsheet. Unfortunately, the disruption of adoption during a child's teenage years can delay some of these developments. A lot of older adoptees were raised in homes without proper parental guidance. This can lead them to distrust adult authority or make discussing discipline and other issues difficult to adapt to. It's important that your values are shared with a teenage adoptee, but they'll also need their space to be valued. Unfortunately, teenage adoption occurs at a time when a child needs to developmentally separate his or herself from the family unit. Parents are urged to limit passive activities and to encourage socialization. This helps teens attach themselves to social situations without having to rely fully on the family unit, which can hinder their development.

Outside of careful parenting, many older adopters prefer teenage adoption to other age groups because of the child's independence and developed personality.

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