Dr. Wallace:

My husband and I are thinking about adopting an infant baby since we are incapable of having children because of an injury to my husband when he was young. My husband’s sister is 24, unmarried and will have her baby in a month or so. She plans to give the baby up for adoption because she will be moving to Mexico to live with her boyfriend in Mexico City.

My sister-in-law wants us to adopt her son (she already knows it’s a boy). We would like to adopt the baby but I’ve heard that adopted children have more problems socially and emotionally growing up. Do you have any information on this? — Avita,

San Antonio, Texas

Avita: According to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, teens adopted early in life are as well adjusted as most other teens and, in some ways, do better. The four-year study of children who were less than 15 months old when adopted revealed that more than 75 percent of adopted teens “are in a very positive zone of mental health,” according to psychologist Peter Benson.

Only 27 percent of the 881 adopted teens surveyed thought that being adopted “is a big part of how I think of myself.” The adopted teens were also slightly less likely to engage in high-risk behavior such as substance abuse and early sex.

If you and your husband become loving compassionate parents, your lives will be blessed and enriched with the addition of a baby boy. By all means, adopt!

— Write to Dr. Wallace at

rwallace@galesburg.net.