Our adoption forum members share their experience with having both adopted and biological children.
** Our two biological children were 9 and 11 when we began the process to adopt an infant. As a result, they were very much aware of and involved in everything, and we anxiously awaited our son’s arrival together. We all flew to be there for the placement. After placement, they were excited about holding and feeding the baby. We have a very bonded group today. Our youngest has two very doting older siblings who can answer questions on a youthful level, in a sibling way. It’s been very productive, reaffirming, and supportive for him.
** We also adopted after having bio-kids (well, after dh and I brought our families together). We decided as a family to adopt and worked through our issues with infant adoption (after some very stressful fostering of babies!) and also decided as a family to adopt older children.
There has been some adjustment, but not near as much as when dh and I blended our two families!!! For us, it was a matter of making sure the kids were all treated equally even though 3 of them were (are) still technically foster kids. We don’t use the words “foster” or “bio” and the “new” kids were treated just like the others from day one!
** We decided to adopt after having two bio kids. In some ways, it was easier to have the bio kids first – I was confidant in my ability to be a Mom. I think I was more nervous about giving birth to my oldest than I was about adding an adopted child to our family.
Our situation probably isn’t the norm as our children are close in age – 4 years and 20 days separates the 3. Because of this they are all very close. They are just “the kids” – no separating out the bios from the adopted. Originally we wanted to adopt 2 children, but we worried that we would end up with a great divide – the older two and the younger (adopted) two would be forever paired up.
It can be more difficult to find an agency willing to work with you when you already have bio children. We were open to a child with special needs, of any race (except Native American – didn’t want to deal with NICWA) and even prenatal drug exposure. We were surprised to be turned down for a caucasian special needs program from one agency because we had bio kids. We were definitely not the norm and it made the homestudy interesting. A large part of the questionnaire we had to answer was about dealing with infertility issues – which we didn’t have. I guess that made it shorter for us!
It is a myth that birthmothers only want to place their child with families that don’t have children. We were matched twice and both times it was because we already had children. The birthmother’s wanted to make sure that the baby they were planning on placing had siblings. I actually think our DD’s birthmother would be disappointed to learn we stopped at 3 kids. She was from a larger family and really liked that my DH and I were from larger families. I think she hoped that we would have a large family as well.
So my advice to anyone with bio kids thinking about adopting would be to research it more and don’t be afraid to adopt.Parenting Tips