Characteristics of Adopted Children.

“One day at Kindy my daughter was given a piece of orange with the peel still on it. She hadn’t seen orange like that before and began to eat the peel with a very confused look on her face.
Another day – a friend gave her a fruit roll up to eat… she ate it alright, including the plastic!”

Adoptive Mum – Auckland

The characteristics differ from country to country, but no little babies are adopted internationally. Children are almost always over 1 year and for some countries, over 5 years. Sometimes there are whole families of children needing adoption, with 2,3,4 or more brothers and sisters in an orphanage together. Other children have medical conditions that are better able to be provided for in an adoptive family than in an orphanage in their country.In New Zealand when we talk about “special needs” we usually mean that a particular person has an intellectual or physical disability. Internationally adopted children have unique needs in that –

  • They will have spent part or all of their life in an orphanage.
  • They may have experienced dysfunctional parenting.
  • They are moving from a familiar environment to a completely different country.
  • They will be learning a new language.
  • They may not have had any experience of family life or attachment with a particular adult.
  • They may have medical conditions or a disability.

Children may additionally have “special needs” in the conventional sense of the word. Through the education and assessment process Adoption First Steps will help you to make realistic choices about what needs you could successfully manage.