Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and the Magic Age of Eighteen:

The Magic Age of Eighteen:



        I trust you are having a good Christmas season. I’m here with a heart to connect to foster and adoptive families. I would love to hear from anyone about the subjects of my posts. Please leave a comment.

My last post was about living with RAD – day in and day out. RAD is challenging and the symptoms are intense. Please check out my last post.

Today I am going to talk about RAD and when an adopted RAD child reaches the age of eighteen. It’s an important time in the life of your child. They seem to think it is too.

The Magic Age of Eighteen:

Without startling anyone I want to say a few things here to prepare your heart. This is not from a heart of fear…It seems RAD adopted children think they are totally prepared to face the world at the age of eighteen. To them something magic happens when they are asleep on the last night of being seventeen. When they wake on their eighteenth birthday they suddenly know everything and can handle every situation which comes their way. They seem to think they are invincible.

You may be thinking that every child feels this way. To some degree that may be true. I have a biological child and adopted children and I can say with all sincerity – there is a difference. A RAD child’s intentions and expectations about turning eighteen come from very different motivations of the heart.

RAD adopted children have fantasized about being eighteen and out on their own probably for a very long time. Since they were very young – they have decided their own rules, morals and decisions. They aren’t attached to anyone and this independence sometimes unwisely places them in very dangerous situations.


  1. If your adopted child is RAD and young – get them some help. Find someone who is educated about RAD. Don’t take them to anyone who doesn’t have an educated understanding of RAD. You won’t get anywhere.


  1. If you don’t know if your adopted child is RAD then do some research to educate yourself. There are RAD symptom lists on many web sites. If your child has several of the symptoms then research the nearest therapist that has an educated understanding of RAD to get help.
  2. If your child is RAD and is in their teens then get help ASAP! They will tell you they are not going to leave as soon as they are eighteen but they may be putting on a front. RAD children love to make plans, manipulate and try to pull things off right under your nose.

Think About What You’re Going To Do:

        I write this post as a results of what I have seen in many families who have RAD adopted children. It has left the parents in shock because they didn’t see the eighteen independence coming. Their children wake up at eighteen and their verbiage becomes words like, “I’m eighteen and you can’t tell me what to do.” Then a friend pulls their car into the driveway and your child, with luggage in hand, goes out gets in their car and off they go.

This all can be avoided if parents get help for their adopted child when they are young. If they are older then go get help now. Don’t be the parent that waits till things turn into a crisis!


I realize this isn’t an encouraging subject but neither is a child leaving home way before they are reasonably ready. Please leave a comment so we can chat. Until next time…

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: RAD Symptoms Sabotaging Christmas: | Abba Father's Love

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