Nature Vs, Nurture
What do you guys think of the whole nature vs. nurture thing? Lets say you adopt a child and both parents were a little wild..... Is it possible to have a little angel :wings:? Are there such a thing as "wild" or rowdy genes? Do any of you have older kids and have experience in this? THanks so much in advance
Yeah, I think genes play a big part. Even with genes though, stop and think.. I'm sure you can think of people in your life who have at least one Biological child that is completely different than them. I know I have friends who I thought were NUTS and they have super non wild kids. And other friends who were a little too perfect whose kids have grown up to be wild enough for all of them!

So even in a Biological family, nature only goes so far. But, yes, I do anticipate DD to have many of the same tastes and interests in life as her bparents.

And I wonder if she'll have the same lifestyle. The benefit of having the bparents, is that they'll be there to talk to DD and understand her in a way I won't be able to, if she lives the same way her bparents do. (They don't live in a negative way, just different than us. We're all different.)

It will be good for DD to have someone who really understands.
I think that BOTH come into play as far as physical characteristics but that behavior can be genetic AND determined by upbringing i.e. a parent not setting boundaries and a child being out of control as a result

I dont believe there is bad behavior genes though.
Well, as person who works with children, I have to say both play a part in a persons behavior. I've seen many children who are just like their parents and even when they are taken out of the same negative environment they are STILL the same. A lot of times its genetic ( mental illness).
This is where I see the benefit of open adoption- it allows you to see and get to know the birth parents so as a parent you know what to expect.
Sticking my nose in here Wink ... I haven't adopted myself nor have I gone on to have to have other children so can only comment on reunion with my son. I would say nurture has gone a long way to how he has turned out but on the other hand there is a bit of nature there for good measure. We have similar likes/dislikes, facial expressions and gestures also we have a similar temperament.

Pip :wings:
AS an old adoptee this question has always been top in my mind. I have realized that it is both. That applies to Biological and adoptive famlies. There really is no way to track genes. When one has a Biological child we seem to expect them "to be just like us" forgetting that 2 sets of genes have made this baby. With those 2 setd of genes comes many traits..some good some bad..WHAT, noboby told you about your FIL's great aunt gertie that joined the circus and flew from the air??? LOL So as a result you get what you get and work with it.

Same goes for adoption, as their may be traits born into the child it is up to the parents to work with them and mold them, if posiible to make the most complete human being.

Its a crap shoot wheter you adopt or give birth. For any parent whether Biological or not to just think thast this child WILL end up like great aunt gerties is doing a diservice to the child.

Other then the actual inherited, athletics ect it really does depend...IMO...on how those traits are devolped and accepted while the child is growing....
Both roles play an important part. I have one Biological child and one adopted child. My son (Biological) is 7, and my daughter is 16 months.

I would say that A LOT comes from genes. The most obvious thing is physical characteristics. My son looks just like my husband. My daughter looks just like her birthmom and her sister. There are also just inherent things like mannerisms, facial expressions & laughter that are dictated by genes.

In addition, temperment also comes from genes. My son has my temperment. My daughter has her bmom's temperment. Lucky for me that both me and Dee's (bmom) temperment is calm. Both my kids have very calm temperments.

Intelligence also comes from genes. My daughter is smart. She has always been way above certain stages in development. Her understanding of things is amazing. I also know that her birth siblings are very intelligent too.

Nurture also plays an important role. It is critical for any child's development to have unconditional love and a safe enviornment. If children grow up abused, it doesn't make a hill of beans what their genetic makeup is.

It is the parent's role to ensure they are raising their children in a nurturing enviornment. With nurture, your children learn to love themselves and others. Nurture also helps cement a child's feelings of self worth and confidence.

My children will grow up with me and my husband's morals, values and ethics. The love we feel and show our children is invaluable. Both my children are fiercely loved, cherished and valued. How they feel about themselves in the long run goes directly back to nurture.

Now certain things have nothing to do nature or nurture. They have to do with free will and poor choices. My daughter's birthparents (and extended family) are drug addicts. Many of them are homeless & jobless. No matter how intelligent they are genetically has nothing to do with the poor choices they made in their life.

If either of my children make poor choices in the future due to peer pressure or just plain supidity, that's on them. It will certainly have nothing to do with their genetic makeup or nurture.
Its a crap shoot wheter you adopt or give birth. For any parent whether Biological or not to just think thast this child WILL end up like great aunt gerties is doing a diservice to the child.

Other then the actual inherited, athletics ect it really does depend...IMO...on how those traits are devolped and accepted while the child is growing.... ---dpen6

I fully agree. I also think that because a person has an open adoption is more beneficial in this case, isn't anymore 'true'...than 'untrue'.
We have adopted many times. I know that genetics plays a role; but I know that to assume they play a sole and dominate role, is ridiculous---UNLESS you're referring to some genetic illnesses.

We have BTDT in regards to state SW'ers who recalled the actions and behaviors of of Biological parents. What a mistake that these children have had to listen and remember the unlawful and sick antics of biological people! We even had one caseworker who remarked to us:
"Yes......he (our son) acts just like his biodad."
(And they weren't pleasant behaviors she was referring to.)
How unfair that our son---who was only seven at the time, had to be compared to THAT!!!

We have had semi-open and closed adoptions. In her own opinion, it has been far better for our now grown daughter to have grown up not knowing anything, than to possibly 'open a Pandora's box', as she says. I know that there are benefits to open adoption for some; but to assume it would help for a child's behaviors, I can't agree.

It IS a crap shoot...whether birthing or adopting. And, here's the other part. People forget just how many combinations of genes are possible!!!!! Just as Biological couples are shocked to find that their child has some rare (but genetically transferred) disease that was found back in the family 75yrs can be the case of adoptive couples.
As I said, if you're speaking of inherited diseases, this may make a big difference...and this knowledge is vital for everyone. (This is not the open-ness of adoption I'm referring to.)
But just because both Biological parents were/are talented and educated; or incarcerated, or on the street, doesn't matter in the long run. I firmly believe that nurture has a lot more to do with forming a child than anything. Just ask those of us who have parented children with RAD.......


Linny said...
I firmly believe that nurture has a lot more to do with forming a child than anything. Just ask those of us who have parented children with RAD.......



I have a question. My achild doesn't seem to have any RAD characteristics, and we adopted him at birth. Is RAD something that only foster children have or is it possible to adopt an infant with genetics for RAD? Just curious - I know my child doesn't, but is it possible? Does it come completely from nurture?
RAD can come from poor nurturing, or from any kind of traumatic break in the relationship with the parenting figure--especially in the very early, formative years. Therefore, it is possible for an infant to have RAD type behaviors, if, for instance, the baby has spent significant time in the hospital---without cuddling, holding, etc. It can also come from parenting that is neglectful---in that the baby isn't held enough, isn't fed, isn't cared for.
The incidence is higher in older, foster children for several reasons: Neglect during pregnancy, neglect due to a variety of reasons during early infancy, several moves for the child throughout foster care, etc.
I have known of babies to show some signs of 'unattached behaviors', ie, lack of eye contact during feedings, stiffness when being cuddled by caretaker, continuous crying and stiffness while being held, etc. (and there are others). And.....if attachment parenting is conducted during these early months, the baby can and often will learn to attach. This is why---in our home---we firmly believe in attachment parenting of any/all of our babies. (Wearing the baby in a pack, laying down with the baby, being attentive with the baby during each feeding---encouraging eye contact, etc.)

There is an excellent site for more knowledge on attachment parenting and reactive attachment disorder called, ADSG (Attachment disorder support group). It has a wide base of info about attachment and what any parent can do to help.

As far as a genetic element in RAD.......our therapist and I have discussed that it would seem the ratio of CC children with RAD, compared to any children of color with RAD, seems unequal. It would seem that CC children (whether adopted domestically or internationally) seem to have a much higher incidence. There could be other reasons rather than genetics too.

But, sadly, the older the child with attachment issues, the lower the chances for success in getting them to attach---which can be devestating in years to come.

I hope this helps...


My son is adopted (he is 3 months old). Both parents are
drug users. Does this mean he will or could inherit a drug problem? I know that even Biological kids from great families can develop drug problems. I suppose that it is poor choices in friends and decisions. I am hoping that he wont have an added inherited gene that makes him more suseptable.
My younger boys birth parents are all drug addicts and career criminals. I have absolutely NO fear that Paul and Elijah will follow that same route. Yes, because of their genes, they MAY be more pre disposed to addictions, BUT we will raise them with that knowledge and lots of love and guidance, they will have a much better chance of avoiding the drugs/alcohol.The birthmothers mother,( My mother in law) has NEVER even tasted alcohol let alone used an illegal drug, and her daughter was a drug addict, so it's not always genetic. She made horrible choices in life.
dpen6 said...

Its a crap shoot wheter you adopt or give birth. For any parent whether Biological or not to just think thast this child WILL end up like great aunt gerties is doing a diservice to the child.

I gave birth to all my children. My oldest, who was raised by his adoptive parents looks the most like me. He has a lot of his birthfather's traits. My two that I am parenting look nothing like me and have tons of athletic ability. (I didn't walk until I was 18 months and I am still not very good at it.) I am amazed and astounded daily by all my kids. Getting to know them has been a joy. I am glad I did not get a bunch of mini-me's. To be honest, I do not think that highly of myself.
Nature vs. Nurture
I have 4 birthchildren and 4 adopted children. Just wanted to comment that I believe the nature vs. nurture debate tends to be about 50/50. In other words, I certainly see things in my birthchildren that are part me, part their father but also circumstances (like divorce, environment, schooling, friends) play a big role in their personalities. With our adopted children I see the same thing. We have a history on all of our children. Our sweet new baby seems to have much the same personality as her sweet birthmother. OUr VERY ACTIVE 6 year old shows some tendencies that make me believe he could have a lot of his birthfather's personality traits (a bit scary). Our very talkative 7 year old is so much like her birthmother in that regard (of course we are talkers too so who knows?). I think many things shape us and that genetics is a VERY STRONG part of who we are but so does our environment and our parents' role in our lives, our teachers' influences, our religious or moral background. I did read an excellent article in Adoptive Families Magazine a couple of years back. You may want to see if you can get a copy of it. I think it was titled "Nature vs. Nurture" and brought up some excellent points and left me feeling very hopeful about the future.

Hope I've helped.

To all of you who talk about birth families making poor choices, using drugs: it's probable that the drug users either are mentally ill and not diagnosed or suffered some type of abuse. I do not condone drug use but having seen people lose everything and find out there was mental illness or abuse is very sad.
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