If you have adopted/bio kids, would you consider fostering (long-term) or adopting kids who are OLDER than the youngest kid you already have? Maybe even older than the oldest kid you already have?
Yes or no?
Why or why not?
I wouldn’t recommend it. Birthorder wasn’t something we thought about, since we were taking in a relative and weren’t thinking about adopting or long-term issues. But in hindsight, it’s been a real problem.
I have a 2yo and a 4yo, my cousin was 12, and it isn’t good combinations. The 12 yo definitely showed the younger two bad behaviors - swearing, backtalk, arguing, defiance. And I didn't like my little ones seeing me angry and trying to deal with a difficult pre-teen/teen.
It’s hard to explain this, but the other issue is just exposing my kids information and negativity I didn’t like or have any control over.
My 4 yo is just starting to understand how the world works and ask a lot of questions about why things happen. Her cousin has a completely different life experience than my kids have, and my kids are too young to fully process that. Honestly, I also don’t want them to have to even heard about some of these problems until they are much older. I want to protect them from knowing how scary the world can be.
Trying to explain to my 4yo why her cousin is living here is difficult when she also hears from her cousin how unfair things are that her mom is in prison and that the police, judge and lawyers are wrong.
I don’t want my 4 yo hearing about these things like innocent people might be in prison or even what prison is or know about kids being neglected and abused, or about mental illness and drug abuse. I want her to believe that most adults are trustworthy and not learn at a young age that there are people out there that hurt kids and parent's can't protect them.
Maybe the age different would be less of a problem if the younger kids were older and there was more control over what they were exposed to. My 4 yo asks a million questions, and the cousin likes giving answers she knows are inappropriate.
Thats a good question. When we started this journey we had no intention of fostering anyone older than my oldest son, 12. Well then we got the first call, it seems that teenagers are in the cards with us. We now have a sib group of 3, two of them are older than my 12 yr old. All in all its not very impactuful, we don't really see much of a problem.
I think it depends on the kids. I know that is a cop out answer, but it has been true for my house.
have had placements older and younger than my AS. some work, others don't. Now that my boys are a little older (5) I will only take younger. Maybe at 11 or 12 that will change. I have 2 FC that hopefully become STBA kiddos and I would take a child inbetween them.....but still under 5.
I currently have a FS 7 that was not a good match. But he is more kid than I knew about (even using the 'take what DFS is saying and multiply it by 3' method). He will be moving to a home with 2 parents and no littles in the next couple of weeks.
Once he leaves i have sworn on a stack of bibles that I WILL NOT TAKE A CHILD OVER 5!!!!!!!!!!!! at least for the next 2 years.
Random thought: Everyone is concerned about how disrupting birth order effects bio and adopted they should.
How does disrupting birth order effect the Foster Child(ren) being brought into the home??? Seems like this could be a big issue at times.
Just wondering...
We consider it on a case by case basis. My oldest bio is 8, we had 10 and 12 yo brothers from June-December. My kids did learn some bad habits, nothing major but overall it went ok an we would do it again. We had done respite either weekly, biweekly or monthly for several months before they moved in though and we were pretty confident they would do ok.
I have had a number of older placements and really, with the exception of one, they worked out great. The one that was not so great really had nothing to do with age, it was a personality clash between her and my son. I think this whole age order thing is overrated. What you need to look at is your kids and the kids you are asked to take and see how it may work for them.
I think sometimes what matters more than whether foster or bio is older is how large the age gap between the kids is. Putting an innocent 3-year-old with a 13-year-old who has experienced a hard life could be difficult, confusing or just plain dangerous for the younger kid. By contrast, a 10 and 12 year old are much closer in size and a 10 year old with a solid background might actually be more mature emotionally. At the very least, the 10 year old can understand the differences with help and talk to a parent when they're confused.
Also older bio-kids going to public schools already probably interact with a variety of kids, some of whom will have behaviors you don't want your kid to know about or learn so the potential negative influence of a foster child in the home is less.
It's not for me. My BS is autistic and given to mimic behavior. I already have had to deal with him trying to act like Nugget when he is angry. (Let me tell you that is funny and infuriating all at once.) But he isn't cursing or any of the things a teen might do. I'm also started fostering to adopt and older kids just aren't my preference. That said, I do know another FF that did and it worked out great. Their teen is now in college and a great big sis to the younger ones they have adopted.
Like anything, I think it has to be examined on a case specific basis. When I was fostering before, we considered several placements that would have been out of birth order. However, we turned those cases down because we have very small children & there was either such a gap that it didn't seem like a good idea or there were behaviors that would put the little ones at risk.
The placement that I have now, though, is out of birth order. She is my daughters bio sister. Since she is 5, she falls 4th of the 5 kids. The youngest being 1 y/o. In this case, there weren't any concerning behaviors that would seem to put the baby at risk. She's not at the same age or developmental level as my older boys, so there's no lil crushes to worry about. And she's been in a home with other young children, so she's socialized to that.
We have 2 bio boys ages 3 1/2 and 5.
Our FS is also 3 1/2 and FD is 4 1/2.
There is 20 months from oldest to youngest. We we only open to girls younger than our youngest. Then these kiddos needed a home short term and 4 months later are still here. If they go to adoption we will likely adopt them but had we been offer the placement as an adoptive placement we absolutely would have said no due to their ages and because one is a boy. Saying no boys is easier than saying no to a boy you have already grown to love. These kids fit into our crazy little family.
No, not for us. All our kiddos are adopted, our oldest struggles the most with attachment and jealousy. We couldn't ever have a child near her age and didnt all subsequent were younger, it would have pushed her over the edge...
I would. My very very almost five year old son does fine with older kids. Completely fine. He does completely fine with younger kids too. He is one of those adaptable, go-with-the-flow children that nothing ruffles.
Our almost nine year old daughter.....well, she would struggle with a girl her own age, but probably do okay - only because she is so intelligent school-wise and so talented in independent extra-curricular activities (think piano, dance, gymnastics, swimming, theater) that she would be bound to outshine that placement and would therefore not feel threatened. Our daughter would also do just fine with an older BOY. An older GIRL would be a disaster as a placement and we would not consider one at this time.
Really, we probably wouldn't accept an older boy either, because my husband says he doesn't trust them around our daughter :)
So no, we wouldn't foster/adopt older than our almost nine year old daughter, but our almost five year old son is constantly victim of being ousted from his birth order and he continues to thrive with absolutely no issues.
We have done it a number of times, and would absolutely do it again. We generally don't take children older than my functional eldest who is 11 (although we have once or twice), or my disabled oldest 13 (who developmentally is much younger), but we often take kids older than my two other bio sons, and prefer kids older than the baby. We just did a placement with a 10 year old and a 6 year old, and last summer had a 7 and 8 year old.
Some of the things that help are that my boys are very tall for their age, so even when there is a child several years older, it would be physically challenging for most of them to bully my kids - when my youngest was six he was taller than our 8 year old FS and outweighed him. My kids are old enough to be verbal, so we've talked a lot about what kinds of behaviors mean you come to Mom RIGHT AWAY, and we keep a close line of sight at first, particularly around my disabled oldest, who would be an easy victim, and the baby, of course.
So far it has been nothing but wonderful for my kids - none of them have ever minded the shift in status, and have suffered much more from the loss of kids they saw as their brothers and sisters than from displacement. My kids are actually much more enthusiastic about placements that include kids their own age than about littler ones, so we've made an effort to add school aged kids into the mix. That doesn't mean that a child couldn't be a bad fit, but we have had only good luck so far.
I don't have any advice on this (I just have one), but I wanted to share something interesting ... in our licensing class one of the leaders had adopted several children (8 total I think). They were all completely out of birth order. When discussing this she said that they actually developed their own "birth order". So in one sense the child first adopted was considered "first born" even though I think 2-3 of the other kids were chronologically older.
I will not, personally. There are success stories but I hear far more disaster stories than successes. A couple exceptions seem to be when they are all quite young or the one being adopted is WAY older than the young ones and doesn't have extreme behaviors. Even those often don't work. Even the homes that appear to be making it work, there are definite issues. Now, there are exceptions. I have seen them, but in general, these are the exceptions to the rule.