Combining Kids by Birth and Adoption

Is it fair to the children to combine kids by both birth and adoption in the same family? Do parents tend to favor their biological child? Should parents adopt if they already have biological children? Should they conceive a child if they have adopted? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national adoption & infertility education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. David Brodzinsky, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and former Director of Foster Care Counseling Project at Rutgers University, and author of the seminal book Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self.

Hit the Highlights
  • A surprising number of families have children by both adoption and birth.
  • What are the typical reasons why families have both adopted and non-adopted kids?
  • What does the research show on how children and families adjust when there are children by both adoption and infertility?
  • Do parents have a tendency to favor their biological children? Kin Selection Theory based on evolutionary psychology.
  • Favoritism by grandparents or extended family. How to handle?
  • The tendency of parents of families that combine biological and adopted kids to downplay genetics, birth stories, etc.
  • In some ways, we put pressure on our bio kids by looking for and expecting them to be like others in the family.
  • Does it matters if the adopted child is adopted after the family has had bio kids, or if the adopted child comes first (most often because the parents were infertile) and they went back into treatment after they adopted to try for a biological child. What different factors come into play?
  • Jealousy of birth children. Do you handle in a different than typical sibling rivalry?
  • How to handle conflicts with children or extended family members when children require a different type of parenting because one child has experienced trauma?
  • How to handle conflicts when one child requires more of the parents time than another child?
  • What do families need to think about if they are considering blending bio kids with adopted kids? How can social workers help families that are considering this?

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Image credit: iDJ Photography