Dr. Boris Gindis answers
often asked questions of a pre-adoption period:
are told that we can adopt 2 non-related kids at the same time. We would
love to do it since the paperwork ordeal was too long up until now and
we don't want to go through it again....We are wondering if we should
adopt 2 non-related kids, from an attachment standpoint. Is there any
research on adopting non-related kids at the same time or even adopting
2 siblings at the same time? I heard that if we adopt non-related kids,
they should be at least 6 months apart in age... so as to avoid 'artificial
are several issues here that we need to differentiate.
one: 2 non-related kids and attachment. Attachment process
is very individual and the relatedness of the children has little to
do with their personal attachment to each parent. Potential adoptive
parents, even with the full understanding of difficulties in making
several human beings a loving family, still tend to assume that they
are already attached to their new children, and it's only the children
who must want to embrace them as parents, but for some reason do not.
Yes, the children may have issues, but you do need to begin working
on creating your own emotional connections with each young stranger
whom you will call your child. Working on these ties with 1, or 2, or
even 3 children at a time may change the dynamic or your relations,
but it will not change the essence: each parent has to find the way
to win each adoptive child over.
The second one: 'artificial
twinning' of children. It's
not a problem when you do not have biological children in the family
and adopt 2 unrelated kids of similar age. Artificial twinning is referred
only to situations when a biological and an adopted child are the same
or close to the same age. In such scenarios the natural dynamic of relations
between 2 siblings is totally skewed: they will be of the same age and
with very different language and social skills. It may cause a lot of
additional issues in the family. The same may happen it your adopted
child will be older than the biological sibling.
We are going to adopt a 12 - 18 month old child from
an orphanage in the next few months and need to know if there are any
symptoms we may be able to look for to see if the child will have 'Reactive
Attachment Disorder'. We know that we will need to seriously address
the issue of attachment in general, but just want to know if there are
any signs to look for in the child (i.e., lack of eye contact, etc.).
not possible for a lay person (as well as for a professional) to just
look at a child and detect RAD. For example, lack of eye contact, quoted
as a definite sign of RAD, is also a symptom of a good dozen of other
things, which have absolutely nothing to do with RAD. Attachment disorders
can be detected and have their own symptoms, but in most cases it's
a matter of time to separate them from the adjustment period difficulties,
post-institutional behavior patterns and other causes.
There is no specific research on the attachment and unrelated
siblings, but there are a lot of articles about the nature and difficulties
of attachment process: