Should You Disrupt Birth Order When Adopting?

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Adoption is filled with countless decisions and considerations. Among these decisions, the question of whether to disrupt birth order when adopting can be a particularly challenging one. Today, we’re going to have an honest conversation about whether or not you should disrupt the birth order when adopting. This is a topic close to my heart, as I’ve been through this myself.


The Impact on Existing Siblings:

In my personal experience, my family adopted our daughter while already having four children. When we adopted our daughter she happened to fall in between our two youngest kiddos. It didn’t cause significant disruption in our family because we did not interfere with the birth order of the children already in our home.

One crucial piece of advice I’d like to share is to avoid replacing the oldest child already in your home, especially if they are in school and are around five or six years old. The oldest child holds a unique role in the family dynamic, and it’s crucial to maintain this balance.


Simplify Your Life:

Regardless of whether you are adopting in or out of birth order, adopting a child is a significant life change for your entire family. My recommendation is to simplify your life as much as possible to ensure you have the time and energy needed when adding a new child to your family. This not only benefits the child you’re adopting but also ensures your existing children feel secure and not threatened by the new addition.


Individual Attention:

Each child in your family, both existing and newly adopted, deserves their own time and attention. It’s essential to dedicate one-on-one time to each child to help them feel valued and ensure they don’t feel replaced by their new sibling. Maintaining a sense of normalcy and routine, such as playdates and time spent with grandparents, can greatly ease the transition.


Listening to Your Children:

Adoption can be a challenging journey, and your children may experience a wide range of emotions. I strongly advise giving your children a voice. Allow them to express their thoughts and feelings, providing a safe space to vent and share their opinions. This open communication helps the family navigate the changes more smoothly.


Individuality is Key:

Another important point I’d like to emphasize is that adopted children should not be treated as twins (also known as artificially twinning), even if they are close in age. Each child is a unique individual with their own needs and personality. Treating them as such ensures they feel valued and respected in their own right.


The Wait and See Approach:

I recommend NOT taking a “wait and see” approach. Have in place the necessary services, such as counseling, to help your children adjust to the new family dynamics. This can involve counseling for the child being adopted, your existing children, or family counseling to facilitate a smooth transition for everyone.

For more on this topic, check out this week’s video:

When adopting it’s essential to consider the impact of disrupting birth order on your family and take the necessary steps to ensure a successful and harmonious adoption process. By following these tips and advice, you can make the transition as smooth as possible for your family and, most importantly, for the child you’re welcoming into your home.

For more in-depth guidance on adoption and to access valuable resources, don’t forget to check out my All About Adoption and Avenues of Adoption courses. Thank you for reading, and remember, you’re in the right place to receive the information you need to build your family through adoption.


This blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only. Our services are not financial, business or legal advice. The information presented here is not a guarantee that you will obtain any results or earn any money using our content. Adoption & Beyond, Inc. owns all copyrights to the materials presented here unless otherwise noted.

Steffany ave

Founder & Director

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Meet Steffany Aye, the heart behind Adoption & Beyond since its inception in 1998. Fueled by a deep passion for supporting both birth and adoptive parents, Steffany's journey as an adoptive parent has continued the foundation for this non-profit adoption agency.

Drawing from more than 25 years of dedicated experience, Steffany and her team are committed to crafting warm, thriving families through child-centered adoptions. Their inclusive services, free from any form of discrimination, reflect Steffany's unwavering dedication to the beautiful tapestry of adoption.

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