Two people working in the clean room at the Saab ETIC Building.

A new child often means changes in family life. When that child is not a baby and has had a lot of difficulty in his or her young life, there can be many kinds of changes. Surprisingly, the influence of older child adoption on family life and daily functioning had not been studied very much. Therefore families considering an older child adoption were left without a lot of guidance as they tried to prepare their families for what was to come, or support their families through the transition.

This study looked for adoptive parents in the first year of an adoption or a pre-adoptive placement of a child between three and nine years of age. They were interviewed about various aspects of family life in a lengthy, confidential interview. There was no monetary compensation.

We wanted this study to help others preparing to adopt an older child.