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Adopting a Second Child

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I have a four-year-old adopted daughter and am considering adopting a little girl from China. The ages available are broad: from age three months and up. What are the most important concerns with regard to listing a preferred age to encourage acceptance, interaction, and long-term adjustment with my daughter?

A: Don't be concerned about the age of another child that you bring into your family. Your adopted daughter has had enough time with you to feel a deep sense of belonging and of being loved. Instead of focusing on age difference, think seriously about your desire, willingness, and ability to parent an infant as opposed to a toddler, preschooler, or school-aged child.

My guess is that your well-adjusted daughter will go through all the normal responses of any child who now has to share her parent with another child. Your daughter certainly should be told about your intentions to adopt, in a manner appropriate for her stage of development. Any reputable adoption agency should be able to provide you with advice and resources to help you present this information to your daughter. I would also recommend that you ask the adoption agency for the names of other adoptive parents who have adopted two or more children. They might provide the best resources for you both before and after you adopt your second child. I wish you well.

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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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