Challenges of Adopting more than one Child

Very unique challenges can present themselves with one adopted child, but are even more likely to present themselves when two or more adopted children are involved. The new challenges that present themselves to a family with the addition of any new child, adopted or natural-born are many, and unpredictable. With adopted children, more demanding and frustrating challenges are likely to present themselves in the form of emotional/mental health issues, physical health and medical issues, and jealousy and infighting between siblings.

Adopted children, especially those adopted after infancy, often have adaptive problems, such as attachment disorders, problems with self-esteem, and coping with feelings of loss and abandonment. Many children have questions about who they are and where they came from, and feel that knowing their birth parents will solve these feelings of not belonging. It can be difficult to get to know one child, gain their trust and help them adapt, cope, and feel good about themselves and their place in the family. Adding more than one child doubles or triples that task, and adds the new dimension of helping newly adopted children learn to relate to one another, as well as to new adoptive parents.

Of course, in addition to the understandable emotional adjustments, there are sometimes unexpected surprises in the form of minor illnesses, chronic conditions, and even developmental disorders or learning disabilities. Some of these problems are foreseeable with an accurate biological family medical history, and testing would allow for the prevention or early treatment, if not just a cautionary eye out for symptoms. Depending on the circumstances leading to adoption, it is possible that the child was not properly cared for during pregnancy. It is possible that the child has allergies or deficiencies due to inadequate diet. The child may require special medical procedures or frequent hospitalization. If this is the case, having more than one adopted child can complicate schedules and finances.

Finally, children fight with one another. Even the most well-adjusted siblings will tie into it on a regular basis, with little or no provocation sometimes. Adopting more than one child can lead to feelings of competition and jealousy, especially if one of the previously mentioned problems arises, and adoptive parents have to give extra necessary attention and time to one sibling over the other. For a child that may already have abandonment issues, this can cause problems.

Though the road is difficult, it can be traveled. For parents with extraordinary patience and compassion, adopting more than one child is worth any and all frustrations and hardships.