Author: Murat Artiran, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
The older the child the difficult to build trust to the new parents. Therefore parents should work hard to provide secure environment for the adopted children. Emotionally, physically, cognitively secure environment may allow the child to trust his/her new parents. Children learn by modeling so new family may become for them a new model. According to Piaget, children develop from sensorimotor stage to pre-operational, then concrete operational to formal operations (internet source: simplepsychology). Development occurs from concreteness to abstractness cognitively. Awareness and understanding of emotions are also changes from basic emotions to complicated emotions. Therefore adopting an older child mean working harder than adopting a younger child. Another possible difficulty to adopting an older child may come from the idea of cognitive schema. Well-developed cognitive schemas may be difficult to change later in life. ‘A schema can be defined as a set of linked mental representations of the world, which we use both to understand and to respond to situations’ (Wadsworth, 2004). However sometime adopting an older child may be better than younger child. For instance, if adopt an adolescents, she/he may be in the stage of identity development. So it might be good for the adolescents to develop his/her identity freely without having any disturbances from his/her family.
Wadsworth, B. J. (2004). Piaget’s theory of cognitive and affective development: Foundations of constructivism. Longman Publishing.