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Teen adoptions: Challenging and usually rewarding

Adopting a teenager isn't usually the first thought that people have when they make the decision to add another person to their family. Many people automatically default to adopting newborns or even toddlers. The fact of the matter is that there are many teens in the foster care system who need a family to love them and help them learn how to be productive and responsible adults before they age out of the foster care system.

Bringing a teenager into your home through adoption isn't always an easy transition. These kids usually have their own opinions and have become accustomed to another way of doing things that might not be the same as your way. In many cases, working with the teen to compromise on points that are optional can help to make the transition a little easier.

One of the most important things to do is to set the rules and expectations early on. Let the teen know what house rules apply and what he or she is expected to do. This isn't to say that this will curb all potential issues, but it can help to set the right tone from the start.

There are bound to be issues as the child makes the adjustment to life at your home. Remember that patience can go a long way in keeping the house feeling more like a home for a teen who hasn't had a dedicated family. No teen is going to be a perfect child, but you can help teach him or her what is needed to move successfully into adulthood.

Source: Madame Noire, "Adopting Teens: Tips for a Smooth Transition," Tanya Reid, accessed Jan. 25, 2018

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