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Older Parents

How Old is Too Old?

I am wondering how old is too old to adopt your first kids, especially if you have no children?


I was 44 when I adopted my first and 47 for my last child.

Posted by samstep on Sep 13, 2018 at 2:20pm

I am 53 and my husband is 58…we’re adopting older kids, who will graduate about the time we’re ready to retire.

Posted by jonesdm65 on Sep 13, 2018 at 2:42pm

Same as jonesdm65 - I was 54 and my husband 56 when we adopted. Our daughter was 11 years old at the time. It’s a great age and she keeps us very busy with school and activities. She too will graduate when we are ready to retire. Given her age, she is able to participate in all our adventures. I would not be interested in an infant, toddler, preschool child at this point in our lives. If I were 10 years younger I could do it - but not now.

Posted by whitt98 on Sep 13, 2018 at 3:45pm

We took a six month old adoptive placement from fostercare, when we were 50 and 52. And we adopted newborn twins prvately (my niece was pregnant and had drug problems) , when we were 53 and 55.

Posted by desertkat on Sep 13, 2018 at 4:10pm

My dh and i adopted two kids as infants.  1st at 36 and 39.  2nd at 43 and 46.  Oddly, both my grandmas had bio kids at 43.

Posted by mamallama on Sep 13, 2018 at 4:16pm

I was 51 when I adopted my 8 yo twins as a single parent (unsuccessfully went down this path when I was much younger).  At that age I also felt older children were the best fit, although the challenges are still there.  They are now VERY active 13 yos and we are on the go constantly.  Retirement will be when they are grown and self-sufficient.  Age is simply a number, how do you feel, how is your health, what can you accept or manage?  You only have one life to live, live it to YOUR fullest.

Posted by Anne333 on Sep 13, 2018 at 4:43pm

I was 56 when I adopted my 10 month old from Guatemala.  She just turned 11 and adopting her is the best thing I have done in my life. I am a sinlge mother.

I don’t feel too old, but I do regret that I won’t know her in her 40’s.

Posted by Candi on Sep 13, 2018 at 5:05pm

My husband and I got together a little later in life and, because we had both been married before, we were not eligible for many International programs (or we would have had to wait to have been eligible).  Even Catholic Charities wanted us to have been married for three years, and, partly because of our ages, we didn’t want to wait. 

We started domestic newborn when we had been married 15 months.  It took us a year and a half for our first child, which felt long at the time, but really wasn’t.  We had a few heartaches and one devastating failed match along the way.  Our road to number 2 was also bumpy; then, when # 2 was six months old, we found out about our third (bio half sibling of #2).  When we brought home our third newborn in three and a half years, we decided we were done.  We just didn’t think we could do the up every two hours again.

Anyway, no one can answer this question for you except you.  I do worry that my kids will not have us around, and we cultivate extended family relationships, especially with their cousins, many of whom are more like aunts and uncles because of the age difference, and some of whom have kids close to their ages.  That is the big down side for me, worrying who will be around for them when we are gone. 

I sometimes wish that I were younger, and I worry about them, but I never, ever wish I hadn’t become an “older mom”.  And if I had done this any other time, I wouldn’t have my kids, and they are the ones who were supposed to be with us.

Hope that helps!

Posted by jszmom on Sep 13, 2018 at 6:18pm

” I sometimes wish that I were younger, and I worry about them, but I never, ever wish I hadn’t become an “older mom”.  And if I had done this any other time, I wouldn’t have my kids, and they are the ones who were supposed to be with us.”

You say that you “worry about them,” but then it’s all about you, how you feel, what you want, how kids should be yours, and that somehow kids were “supposed to be with us.”

Who decided they should be with you? God? If you worry about them, what do you worry about? You don’t say, just that you wouldn’t have kids. Is it really only all about you? That you get to be an “older mom” and so worrying about them just gets put aside?

Posted by NoraT on Sep 13, 2018 at 9:51pm

I was 45 and my husband was 49 when we adopted our first newborn boy , and then another 4 1/2 years later. ( oldest is now 11 ) We definitely notice our energy is not the same as if we were 30… So we have to plan accordingly. Instead of Long climbs and touch football games in the yard, we ride bikes together… That sort of thing. I would agree with whoever said that if you adopt late in life your primary concern should be situating that child in a way that they can have lots of other support should you not be able to be there an extremely long time .  Cultivate extended family relationships, get in a very good church so they have other adults in their lives beside you… Younger ones! Don’t be so jealous to have them with you every moment that you don’t allow them time with other adults who could make an impact you cannot make. I’m thinking particularly of my two boys, who enjoy spending time with family Where their
father is an ex – professional athlete, and can play harder than theirs can.  It can truly be a challenge, but like many others, we would say it’s the best thing we ever did!  And people who observe our family say that our children benefit from the wisdom that age brings, and our laid back approach

Posted by mcl on Sep 13, 2018 at 10:53pm

Also, just go ahead and get over being upset about being called your child’s grandparents! 😀

Posted by mcl on Sep 13, 2018 at 10:55pm
Posted by NoraT on Sep 14, 2018 at 12:21am

Wow, NoraT, do you have any mode other than attack?

The OP asked about being an older parent, so I responded with my feelings about becoming a parent.  Deciding to become a parent is, at least in part, a selfish act, and you really have to want to do it, because parenting is hard sometimes, no matter how you get there.  No one ever asks if a person having children biologically is “being selfish”.

My children’s birth parents decided they should be with me.  Their birth parents chose my husband and I and our family. 

Please, stop attacking everything that everyone says.  You have a lot of good to say, and people will not hear it if all you do is attack.

Posted by jszmom on Sep 14, 2018 at 3:41pm

jszmom, point taken.

Posted by NoraT on Sep 16, 2018 at 3:24am

it depends on each person and child. I would never feel I could speak for anyone else or give a hard and fast number. Some people in their 20’s and 30’s are in poor health or not financially, psychologically or mentally, able or interested in being parents. Some who are older are the best of parents.

I was in my 60’s but very strong and active, knowledgeable, experienced and for a number of reasons the right choice to parent the child I adopted, (in her teens) .No others had expressed interest and very very few would have been capable. People can be ill or die at any time. They can also be wise and loving parents, responsible at any age…or not. It depends on the child’s needs and the parents wishes (not everyone would want to be a parent in their 60’s!) and capabilities.

I initially wanted to adopt when I was 20 years younger but at that time when you were 40 you were considered “too old”!! Had I adopted then, my child would have had living grandparents. And my age would have been more acceptable.

However, besides the fact that my daughter would never have had a home, I would not have had the health that I did 20 years later…nor the energy, stamina, mental strength, financial stability, time and wisdom that I did when I finally was able to adopt. I would have been a much poorer parent for my child at 40 then now.

So do some honest assessment of whether this is the right path for you. You do not have to be perfect, but you and those around you know whether you would be able to be a good parent/family for a child at whatever age you are.

Posted by Happy Camper on Oct 10, 2018 at 3:05am

Thank you soo much for posting this! I’m 45, hubby is 46 and we are hoping to adopt an infant with both of us having had basically no experience with parenting!  It was the choice we made with a lot of thought, prayer and consideration but still sometimes it’s hard to be confident with your chosen path.  Thank you for verbalizing one of my biggest fears, and for all the great comments and encouragement.

Posted by NJHeart2Heart on Dec 14, 2018 at 6:17pm

We already have seven children, three by birth and for by adoption—Ranging in age from 35 to 15.  We had thought our family was complete (except for the grandchildren that are coming along!)...but we have just been asked to consider adopting a six year old, who is our two youngest kids’ birth sister, now in foster care in another state.  We are excited!  But also worry that, having just turned 61 and looking forward to retirement in another for our five years—and to living abroad several months of the year—we are too old!  On the other hand we are healthy, very experienced parents, with room in our hearts and home for this little one.  But we wouldn’t be as active as ww e were when raising or other kids…  And we’d be in our 70s by the time she went off to college… 

Is it better for the child to grow up with us—in the same family with her birth siblings, even though they will move out in a few years—or with younger parents, but still having some contact to their birth siblings..?

I’d love to hear from other parents who have taken on a young one in their fifties and sixties (and seventies)!

Posted by VintageMom on Jan 08, 2019 at 4:15pm

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