When There's More Than One

Article excerpt

Parents who adopt older children are sometimes faced with adopting a sibling or two. While adopting children "in sets" can be helpful for the youngsters, it can raise distinct challenges for the parents.

"Wherever there are more children, there can be more troubles," says Sylvia Stultz, a Washington, D.C.-based psychologist who holds a doctorate. "Their primary attachment can be to each other."

It's an attachment that has served them well through some pretty tough times, so it's important for parents not to be flustered by that possibility, Stultz says. "Letting siblings share a room is one way of honoring that attachment," she says.

Adoptive parents of siblings need to understand and respect that bond. At the same time, it's important to carve out time for each child. Individual time is especially important for cognitive development as well as emotional security, Stultz says. "This is very important," she says. "It's so easy to treat siblings, especially twins, as a pair."

In international adoptions, taking on a set of siblings brings special challenges. …