Should you disrupt the birth order of your family through adoption? In this course, we interview Dr. David Brodzinsky, Professor Emeritus of Clinical & Developmental Psychology at Rutgers University and former Research Director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute. He is internationally known for his research, training, and clinical work in the area of adoption and has published five books, including Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self.

This course covers the following topics:

  • There are no hard and fast rules in adoption, including whether or not to adopt out of birth order.
  • Sibling rivalry when the birth order is disrupted.
  • How to handle aggressive behavior when a child is adopted and becomes the eldest displacing the former oldest child in the family.
  • Similarities between families that have a blend of children by adoption and birth and families with blended children from divorce and remarriage.
  • Tips for easing the transition for all the children in a family when the birth order is changed by the adoption.
  • Major predictors of an adoption disruption.
  • How to help prepare children for the adoption of a sibling, especially in the adoption of an older child.
  • Issues to consider when adopting a child of a similar age (within about 9 months) of a child already in the family, also known as virtual twinning or artificial twinning.
  • How to minimize the difficulties with virtual twinning or creating artificial twins.
  • What age child is least affected by having his birth order disrupted?
  • What age child is most affected by having his birth order changed?
  • What age gap is best between children when disrupting birth order?
  • What parenting techniques can help a family successfully adopt out of birth order?
  • Is it best to disrupt the birth order of the eldest or the youngest in a family?
  • Seeking help is a sign of parental strength.
  • What type of therapist should families find to help them post-adoption when they find they are struggling with the adoption of an older child?
  • How to handle the situation when the adopted child is older in age but younger on an emotional and behavioral level.
  • What type of therapist is best able to work with families who have changed their birth order after adoption?
  • Special issues to consider when adopting a child who has been or may have been sexually abused.
  • How to tell the difference between general sexual curiosity and behavior that is the result of sexual abuse.
  • What type of sleeping arrangements should parents use the first couple of months home when they are adopting a child who is older than other children in the family?
  • When combining children by birth and adoption, is it better for the adopted child to be the eldest, the youngest, or in the middle?
  • What are the warning signs that parents need to get help with an adoption that is out of birth order?


*Your course will remain active for 180 days from purchase date.

This course aligns with the following regulatory requirements.

Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoption*

 96.48 (c)(







*Important Information for agencies on Hague Training Requirements