It’s a boy for Duck Dynasty’s Korie and Willie Robertson. The matriarch of the reality-star family announced on Sunday, with a family Instagram photo (above), that they’re adopting a 13-year-old son to join their party of five kids.
“We’ve had lots of questions about the cute kid popping up in our photos lately,” she wrote, captioning a photo that included the teen standing with her biological children, John Luke, 20; Sadie, 18; Bella, 13; her adopted son Will, 13 (who joined the family as a baby); and Rebecca (whom Korie and Willie began fostering after she joined the family as an exchange student from Taiwan in 2004). “We are excited to be in the process of adopting a new son!”
The Robertsons’ holiday card included their new son, at the far left. (Photo: Instagram/Korie Robertson)
The boy, whose name she has yet to share, has been with the West Monroe, La., brood since the end of the school year and has already participated in some major family moments. He joined the 800 guests at John Luke’s June wedding at the family farm, and Korie revealed to Entertainment Tonight that he walked her grandmother down the aisle.
“He’s been with us since May,” Korie explained in her Instagram post, which has gotten more than 65,000 likes in fewer than two days. “But we wanted some privacy and time for him and our family to bond before telling the world (It’s a bit of an adjustment coming into this big, crazy family, ha).”
The Robertson clan in 2013. (Photo: Getty Images)
“We are all so thrilled to have another kid around the house,” she added, bragging that the teen is “amazing,” and admitting, “Couldn’t keep the good news to ourselves any longer!”
It’s a wonderful thing, indeed, that the Robertsons are sharing their joy, says Adam Pertman, president of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency. “The reality is that people want to adopt younger children,” he tells Yahoo Parenting. “And statistically, the older the child gets, the harder it is to place them in a permanent family.” (According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families, the median age at which kids get adopted with public agency involvement is 5).
“There is a real effort in the field to focus on these young people,” Pertman adds, “because we know that they benefit from having parents, siblings, love, and the nurturing and support that they get — which no other kind of system [such as a group home] can provide.”
“It is so important to adopt children over the age of 10,” Kathy Ledesma, national project director for AdoptUSKids, has told Yahoo Parenting. “More than 30 percent of all children waiting in U.S. foster care are age 12 or over. Children who move into adulthood without a strong attachment and a legal attachment to a family have poorer social outcomes than those of the same age who are adopted into stable happy and secure families.”
The families who do this “deserve kudos,” says Pertman, author of Adoption Nation. “What we really want is for people to step up and fill a need for children” like the Robertsons’ new son. “So you’ve got to tip your hat and acknowledge that this is not only a very good thing for the son coming into that family, but also a model for what others can do as well.”
Top photo: Instagram/Korie Robertson