Adoption Update and Out of Birth Order Placements

The update on our adoption is that there is no update.

We are still working/pleading with the agency, but I really don’t think we’re going to get anywhere as far as adopting these specific kiddos now.  Some days we’re okay with that, and some days it makes us really sad.  We’re very hopeful that they will get the girl’s paperwork together and they’ll be adopted very soon.

We have another hurdle with the adoption.  When we were researching agencies, we noticed a lot of them said they will not adopt “out of birth order.”  We didn’t really know what that meant, but it wasn’t applicable to us at the time so we didn’t pay it much attention.

We recently found out what it means.  It means that they will not place kids with you that are older than your oldest biological kid.  So when our baby is one and we are allowed to continue the adoption, we would have to adopt a child younger than one.

That is not at all what we feel called to do.

I really can’t make sense of this rule, but it is pretty common across agencies.  I did some quick Google research to understand, but I still can’t make any sense of it.  I guess that if you add older children to a family it can make the biokids unsure of their position?  If a biokid has always been the oldest child and identifies as such, and now they are the middle or youngest child, I can see where that can be confusing and difficult.  I can also understand concern about adopting older children who may have anger issues that they take out on younger, weaker biokids.

But I don’t think a one-year-old identifies as the oldest sibling.

Not adopting out of  birth order is a policy, but not a hard and firm rule.  We are going to start socializing an exception process with our agency in the next few weeks.   The burden to prove that we are serious and committed to this is on us.  I want to know now what we can do that will make it easy to continue the adoption of older children in 18 months.  We will take classes, read books, meet with other families, anything.  But we truly feel that this is what we need to do.



Filed under Losing a Referral, Waiting Children

6 responses to “Adoption Update and Out of Birth Order Placements

  1. we’ve adopted out of birth order twice and honestly have not had one issue at all. first time was our 12 year old daughter (our next girls were 8 and 6) and second time was a 10 year old daughter, now in between the 12 and 8 year old. we have eight kids now. most agencies trust the home study provider to determine whether it is a good fit for the family and helping work through any concerns. do it!

  2. Dana G

    Jamie – Our agency allows out of birth order adoptions as long as it is approved during your home study. We are with Bethany Christian Services. Praying for your family!

    Jan – Thanks for the encouragement that things have gone well with your out of birth order experience. I feel like there is too much negativity out there about this.

  3. Thanks Jan and Dana! That is very encouraging!

  4. Christina R

    I didn’t realize that agency’s had problems with people adopting “out of birth order” (but I’ve never tried to adopt).
    I HAVE heard it as a recommendation before, and I’d like to quickly share why I found myself empathizing with that idea.
    The younger a child is, the more attention it is going to need from it’s parents, and, as it’s growing, the more leeway it is probably going to get when it comes to being raised. A LOT of parents are a bit more strict on their elder children and spoiling to their youngest ones for what ever reasons.
    I can see how if this is the kind of environment, however loving, an adopted kid grew up in with a biological one being the youngest, somewhere in their mind they may begin to think “Well, the baby is getting more attention because Mommy and Daddy love her more” or “He can get away with whatever he wants because he’s their REAL kid.”
    Even if it was merely subconsciously or a fleeting thought as a young child, I can see why some agency’s (and adopters) would want to avoid allowing that to possibly occur.

    • justjames44

      Interesting perspective, Christina. Thanks for sharing, I hadn’t thought of it that way before but I think it’s a valid point. Just one more thing that you have to be very careful and mindful of as adoptive parents. I have learned that adopted children truly have different needs and you cannot parent them the same way you would a biochild.

  5. Leah

    I’m praying for you guys. You two are such an inspiration to me as a couple and as Christians. Just continue to listen to God’s voice and His will will be done! I love you!!

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