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Family & Relationships Adoption & Fostering

Parenting Your Adopted Older Child

How to Overcome the Unique Challenges and Raise a Happy and Healthy Child

by (author) Brenda McCreight

New Harbinger Publications
Initial publish date
May 2002
Adoption & Fostering
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2002
    List Price

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If you've adopted a child older than two years—from the U.S. or abroad—this practical guide will provide you with all the information and tools you’ll need to overcome difficulties and develop a healthy, loving relationship with your child. You’ll learn step-by-step how to identify your child’s unique needs and wounds, create a supportive home environment, and develop the skills needed to ally with your child against each challenge.


About the author

Contributor Notes

Brenda McCreight, Ph.D., is a family and child therapist, and an adoption expert with more than twenty year’s experience. She specializes in pre- and postadoption issues including counseling for adoptive and foster families in crisis and for families and children dealing with challenges such as fetal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, conduct disorder, attachment disorder, developmental delays, and cognitive impairment. McCreight is also an adult educator for both professional and lay audiences on issues related to child development, child trauma, adoptive and foster family relationships, and child behavior disorders. She lives in Nanaimo, British Columbia with her partner, they have nine children, seven of whom were adopted as older children.

Editorial Reviews

Finally! A practical, no-nonsense guide for parents on how to deal with the issues older children face when joining a new adoptive family. With trademark humor, Brenda McCreight, mother of nine children with special needs, shows parents how to resolve issues, such as grief and loss, sexual and physical abuse, as well as, improve attachment, handle ADHD and transracial issues, and manage the effects of drugs and alcohol. A must-read for anyone raising children with special needs, whether adopted locally or internationally.
—Karen Madeiros, Adoptive Families Association of British Columbia

Parenting Your Adopted Older Child will prove itself to be an extremely valuable and insightful text for those who parent adopted older children and for those professionals who assist in facilitating quality relationships among family members. Dr. McCreight’s experience as bothparent and professional adds to the credibility of the powerful message she presents in a very readable format.”
—Beverly J. Ingram, M.Ed., Training and Development Director, The Center for Child and Family Studies, University o f South Carolina College of Social Work



“McCreight helps parents who adopt older children to understand an adoptee’s developmental needs. She then moves beyond discussing adoption issues to suggest useful tools for handling the complexities of successful parenting. Parents who are looking for new, creative parenting techniques will appreciate the author’s hands-on and upbeat approach.”
—Diane Martin-Hushman, Parent Group Coordinator, NACAC (North American Council on Adoptable Children), and adoptive parent of six children



Brenda McCreight has written an important book that is immensely practical for all adoptive parents, especially those adopting children with special needs. Each chapter details particular challenges facing the family, including children with RAD, FAS, ADHD, a history of abuse, open adoption, and institutional history. She also details exercises for increasing self-esteem and engendering respect for others in the family. McCreight states, 'The real challenge of older child adoption is not one of overcoming differing problems, or differing genetics, or differing pasts, but rather, it is one of moving the child away from feeling alone and toward a sense of belonging.' Her book is a must-have road map with specific suggestions for achieving this outcome.
—Sandra Lenington, publisher of Adoption Today magazine, and founder and manager of

Parenting Your Older Adopted Child is just exactly on target. I have dealt with many of the problems that you mention on a personal level, and have held a lot of hands as people went through most of the rest of those challenges. Your book will undoubtedly contribute to many successful placements of older adopted children.
—Kathy Polsen, Adoption Advocates International, Port Angeles, Washington