What You Should Know About Older Parent Adoptions
Couples and professionals are putting off having a family until they are in their 30s. Working on your career or ending a long infertility process can put you into the older parent category. While your age doesn’t hinder your ability to adopt, there are some things to consider when pursuing adoption as an older parent. Here is what you should know about older parent adoptions:
What Is an Older Parent?
In most cases, the term “older parent” in the adoption world refers to a couple who are older than 40 years old. However, the age limit is always changing as people become healthier and show that they can keep up with the demands of raising a child.
What Are the Age Limits?
Each state has its own set of laws involving the required age of an adoptive parent. Florida, for example, doesn’t have any laws about a minimum or maximum age that you can adopt a child. However, many agencies have their own rules and stipulations about how old you must be to adopt. An overall rule of thumb in the adoption world is that adoptive parents shouldn’t be more than 40 years older than the child that they are adopting. However, that unwritten rule is beginning to change based on specific circumstances.
Do I Have to Be Related to The Child?
Many older parent adoptions are indeed family adoptions. This happens when a grandchild, niece, or nephew land in a situation where they need a stable home. Many kinship adoptions are granted to those family members who may be well over the average childbearing age. However, this is not a requirement. Plenty of active older couples adopt children in their late 40s through their 50s and even 60s. It all depends on the parent and their ability to raise a child.
Can I Adopt A Child of Any Age?
Many older children in the foster care system would love to have a stable home life. Many older couples choose to adopt older children to bypass the 24/7 care needed to parent an infant or toddler. However, this doesn’t mean that older parents can’t adopt younger children as well. Many older parents have the advantage of being financially sound in their older years and could provide a beautiful life for a child.
Do I Need to Be in Great Health?
While every adoptive parent should be healthy, no one expects a 50-year-old woman to go out and run a marathon to prove herself. Social workers and expectant mothers want to see hopeful older parents who are active and love to experience life. Children are busy and need a parent that can cultivate an active life. This doesn’t mean that you need to do the monkey bars with them, but it does mean that you need to be healthy enough to leave the house and take them to the park consistently.
You can successfully adopt a child as an older parent. Don’t let your age stop you from entering into the adoption process. Older parents are both wiser and more stable than younger parents and can offer a unique home to a hurting child. More older parents are choosing to adopt later in life with plenty of success stories. Take into consideration these tips about what you should know about older parent adoptions when contemplating adopting a child.