Can an Adopted Child Be Successful?

To most adoptive parents, this is a silly question. Nevertheless, it does come up from time to time.

Denalee Chapman June 15, 2016
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In the hearts of adoptive parents, we want to scream YES—OUR ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE EQUALLY ABLE TO BE SUCCESSFUL AS NON-ADOPTED KIDS! And we wonder why the question would ever come up! And yet it does. There seems to be an unfounded fear floating around out there that if a child was adopted his chances of success are diminished.

To that, we adoptive parents also say PSHAW! We could share a million and one anecdotal examples to back up our strong sentiment.
Look at the 5th grade teacher who is a favorite among students and helps them to love learning, or the nurse who works 12-hour shifts and manages to always smile at her patients. Consider the tax accountant who saves the rest of us from our stress every year as she works magic with numbers. Or the daddy who teaches his children of their innate worth. There are all kinds of ways to be successful. And there are many things that play into our ability to succeed. Adoption is not one of those.

I know a mother who has twenty kids—11 of them are adopted, many with special needs. As parents, she and her husband believe that each one of their children has success coded into his or her being. And the expectation is that each of their children will reach his/her potential. No one gets a “pass.” Some might have to work harder than others at controlling their tempers, some might have to learn to write with their feet because of no hands, and so on. But each is expected to succeed.

These parents teach, in love, the eternal truth that we can all reach beyond our circumstances, beyond our pasts, and beyond our limitations to be our best selves. This means success. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all truly believed that? Not only would we move forward with confidence as we achieve on a daily basis, but we would naturally instill that characteristic in our children and in all with whom we come in contact.

So it’s time to set aside excuses. Especially obviously erroneous ones like “adopted kids are less likely to succeed.”  When we become proactive in managing our own success, we’ll naturally help others, including our children, to achieve theirs.

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Denalee Chapman

Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at

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