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Older Parents

Older....yet wiser

I haven’t posted here in a while.  I have a question to those of you who have adopted.  My dh is 43 and I am 46.  Is that considered old in the eyes of the bm’s??  I guess I feel more wise than old… I really feel young at heart and I think I have tons of energy left for another child or 2.  We have 3 bio kids - but we have always wanted to adopt and have a big family.  Right now our file is with ABL in Indiana… I don’t know how long it will take - but I’m thinking that our ages might play a significant part in the waiting game… I guess because of our ages tho’ - I’m not sure if I’m willing to wait up to 2 years - I’d rather go international…. any suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated.


We just adopted our second and we are both 45 years youngs.  Our sweet birthmom chose us more specifically for our age.  She is 25 and she said she just couldn’t see herself placing with someone her age.  I say go for it!
Only challenge will be agencies who have age restrictions.  Our agency’s age restriction is one spouse can be 45, but the other spouse as to be between 40 and 45.

Posted by momtomg on Jan 30, 2012 at 10:50am

I was 44 and my husband was 39 when our daughter was born.  Older adoptive parents is not that unusual and most couples are chosen for their maturity and presumably more settled lifestyle.

Just curious, when did you contract with ABL in Zionsville?  I don’t want to scare you but I have not heard good things about them.  I’m from Central Indiana.

Posted by over40mom on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:20am

Our international adoption finalized in 2007 when I was 48 (I was 46 when we started the process).  Two generalizations that we heard when we were in process were that (1) it was less likely that you’d be chosen by birth parents placing children for private adoption if you were older—birthparents tend to pick families with whom they can identify; and that (2) domestic agencies who are placing children for foster care prefer experienced parents—being older can be an asset there (our state works to move kids quickly into permanent placements and we considered adopting out of the foster care system). 

I am a strong believer that generalizations are just that—any individual life is made up of specifics, not generalities.  Whatever path you choose, make your specifics work for you!

Posted by caroh on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:25am

Hey we were 46 and 48 when we adopted… age was no consideration with our agency and older parents are thought to be more “in tune” and more stable…... and you are NOT OLD…...

International… well many countries are now putting age and weight restrictions on who can adopt and I think that is HOG WASH….. but that is just my opinion….

If the agency you are with is giving you grief then I suggest looking for another agency…...  That is why I liked our agency as they had no bias to age, gender, nationality etc….. they were very open to help anyone who wanted to adopt and parent a child.

Good luck and hang in there…... we are not old… we are experienced.  smile

Posted by Special K on Jan 30, 2012 at 11:27am

A friend in her late 40’s adopted domestically.  She was offered 2 newborn children within a year.  (Working with a lawyer.)

I have also found that there are quite a few international countries that have no age restrictions.  Many times if they do, if you want an older child (ie not an infant) the age restrictions are more lax.

In my experience, it is the homestudy agencies that discriminate (even when the international countries themselves are fine with the adoption).  In fact I am dealing now with one that told me no age limit would be applied (before they had my money).  Then they said the opposite is a hard and fast rule with them once they’d cashed my checks.

What is the agency you used and spoke so highly of, Special K?

Posted by Happy Camper on Jan 30, 2012 at 12:19pm

I am 50 and have just adopted my last child,I have 4 other children I adopted also. He just turned 3 I have had him since birth.. I went thru my county foster care system,and I really dont think they care too much on age,just as long as you can give love and support to this child.

Posted by Lydia on Jan 30, 2012 at 3:37pm

The reason we chose ABL in Indiana is because I am adopting from the states(internationally) we live in Canada.  We can only use an agency that is hague approved or has hague approved lawyers - which ABL does.  ABL has also placed many babies in Canada in the past couple of years - and they are on the list of agencies that are allowed by our province.  So far everything has been great with them… I am working with a lady named Tina.  We paid our first installment and had our profile books done and we are presently updating our homestudy…
Tina says that they have had many placements since Jan. 1st and quite a few birth mom’s due between end of Feb and end of March…. she said she would add us to “shutterfly” so we could see how many birthmom’s have looked at our books.  That was a conversation I had over a week ago - and she hasn’t done this yet… I’ve e-mailed her atleast 5 times - but she hasn’t responded.  We are only a couple of months into this - but I’m already getting ancy(sp?)!!!!

Posted by 5habfans on Jan 30, 2012 at 9:48pm

Why not adopt through foster care. There are many babies born who go immediately into foster care while termination proceedings take place. Fost/adopt programs are a super fast way to fill your empty crib! We were 65 and 48 when we finalized the adoption of a sibling group that included a 3 month old. We were offered newborn twins shortly before we adopted our last sibling group 4 years ago. It is not uncommon for 6 or 7 newborns to be waiting for a fost adopt placement in here in Minnesota.
Posted by beckyg on Jan 30, 2012

I was 47 when I adopted twin boy infants.  Theyre fabulous.  Were all happy.  Extended family and community will assure them connection if I happen to go early but I may be around a long long time.  Who knows.

Id say be frank with your agency if you are worried and then trust.  Older is wiser in many ways and kids with older parents have many advantages..
Posted by Holly Glaser on Jan 30, 2012-

I also feel the foster to adopt is a great option. Both of our children were adopted through that process. It did take some time but our children were with us and bonding during that waiting time. Good luck in your choice.
Posted by D&K’sMom on Jan 30, 2012

Posted by Danielle Pennel on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:07am

I am sure age is a pretty significant factor for teenage birthmoms; however, there are also many birthmoms who are older who seem less influenced by age. My DH and I were 49 and 48 when our sons were placed with us; however, we did wait for almost a year and a half.

In your early 40’s you may wait longer than those in their early 30’s but a year or more wait is not unusual for almost anyone. You should also be aware that international adoption are often even slower to occur than domestic adoptions (speaking of US citizens adopting from overseas—can’t speak for Canadian adoptions though).

You are probably aware that the more restrictions you put on a domestic adoption, the longer it could take as well. The more open you are to special needs and race, the more quickly you will be placed (most likely).

Domestic adoption is a situation that is pretty much out of the control of the waiting adoptive parents. It is very much a waiting game with very little certainty of when anything will happen. That’s the facts…for anyone, no matter their age.

Posted by 14erhiker on Jan 31, 2012 at 1:37am

Hi!  I think your age is okay, but it depends on the expectant parent and each one is different.  God blessed us with adopting our first daughter when we were 44 and 45 (we were a waiting family for 16 months before we matched with our daughter’s birthmother in an open adoption).  We also had a previous match and an almost match with expectant mothers who were younger than us (as was our daughter’s birthmother) and they all were okay with our ages.  I also asked our agency about our ages at the time, and the person working with us said that some waiting adoptive parents were younger, some were in their forties, and some were older…so I think you’re okay.

It might make it a little harder because you already have children, as I think some expectant mothers want a family who doesn’t have any children yet, but again each one is different and adoptive famiies adopt their second child, thiird child and more all the time.  So I wouldn’t worry overmuch about your age.

Posted by twicethelove on Jan 31, 2012 at 2:04pm

Here is my story.
My hubby and I had our first 3 children by the time I was 23. Boy did I have energy! we adopted our daughter 2 years ago from Ethiopia, she is 11. I am now 51, he 52…Boy do we have wisdom! So, which is better? neither. Love, support, and a family. that is what is important, we have things to give our daughter we never had for our first 3 bio kids. We have less physical energy for our daughter, but we have plenty. The thing is: for all our children we are mom and dad, we are a family.  Age is not the as important as people think. it is who you are as people, day to day. That is what matters. God blesses us daily.

Posted by as on Feb 01, 2012 at 12:55am

We were concern about our age as well. DH is 42 and I’m 47. BM chose us because of our age. She’s 26 and has 3 other children under 6. We did put a lot of activities and pictures on our profile showing our active life. Hang in there, the right match will come along for you. Wishing you many blessings.

Posted by IheartGA on Feb 02, 2012 at 8:37am

It definitely depends on the birth parents and their ages/experiences (e.g., I’m a professor and about the age of most of my students’ parents, so yes, _they_ think I’m old!).

That said, I was 41 and my husband was 42 when we were chosen by a birthmother. She happened to be in her late 30s. Previously, we’d been chosen by a birthmom who was 21 (and then later decided to parent), but she’d explained to us that she saw us as “more mature and ready to be parents” than younger parents. So, it really does depend.

There WILL be birthparents who will think you are just perfect! Multiple agency folks told me this and it seemed to be trite at the time but it really is true: YOU will be *right* for someone, and then that child will be the child that is meant for you. smile

Posted by Tinkya on Feb 04, 2012 at 6:02am

We adopted through an attorney domestically twice in the last three years and we were a bit older than you both when we started.  Our first experience with an agency was very poor, but I know others who adopted through agencies.  Don’t be afraid to shop around if you are not happy with your agency.  We did not qualify for some countries internationally because or our ages, but our attorney had no problem.

We were told in creating our profile to “just be ourselves”, and I cannot tell you how true that is.  Our first child’s birthparents chose us because of my husband’s hobby.  Our second child’s birthmother loved that we had so many pictures of our oldest with all the family, that is what attracted her to us.  She also loved that my husband is such an involved father, because she never had that in her own life.  A colleague of mine adopted as a single mother, and she was chosen by a birthmom and had placement within four months.

Posted by jszmom on Feb 05, 2012 at 10:49pm

Hi LB!

It certainly wasn’t an issue with us. I was 45 and my husband was 47 when we adopted our daughter (from Indiana, by the way). Our biological mom was 20. There are so many positives about being an older parent—typically we’re established in our careers, own our homes, are financially stable, and know that we are 100 percent ready and beyond to parent.

Best wishes to you!

Posted by Barbara Herel on Feb 07, 2012 at 1:49am

My husband is 46 and I am 44.  We are in the tail end of our second international adoption.  We have bio 3 children, ages 26, 23 & 13.  Our first adoption is our daughter who is 5 and from China, and we are hoping to pick up our now youngest daughter from DR Congo, hopefully by March.  OH! And we are grandparents.  smile 

We decided to go international, because my husband wasn’t in a position to have a major disappointment, by a possible change of mind from a birth mother.  That would be something we understand perfectly, but like I said, he was not in a good place to go there.  We haven’t regreted our decision, and figured the reason we went around the world is because…that is where are daughters are!!

And for the record, They sure keep you young at heart.  <3

Posted by madjohn85 on Feb 08, 2012 at 1:16am

We were 48 & 49 when we adopted our first daughter (China.) After our agency had drilled into us that we should expect a toddler -surprise! we got referred a 10 month old - I hadn’t even read the baby chapters of the parenting books. We adopted our second, a toddler this time, at 51 & 52 via the China waiting child program. You’re as old as you feel. Life is good, I have no regrets about adopting late in life. I’m still pretty fast and a heck of a lot smarter than I was 20 years ago.

Posted by jwpines on Feb 25, 2012 at 2:10am

I am just 53 and my husband is 55.  We got our adopted daughter from foster care 2 years ago (she had just turned 5 and is now 7).  We fost/adopted for 1 year waiting for finalization, which was a year ago last week.  We are in Southern California and age never entered into any of the 3 years of hoops DCFS madeus jump through before we were matched.

One comment I would make is that our child has some emotional and learning issues.  Nothing that would cause her to be “special needs” but definitely a big part of the growing pains as we all learn to adjust (our bio child is 11).  Sometimes it is hard to keep up the energy to appropriately handle the emotional outbursts, tantrums and OCD issues - not to mention the amount of time we spend working with her academically, working with teachers, tutors, etc. 

We had always been told that foster kids (ours grew up on the street with drug addict mom until she was 3 1/2 and then foster care) lag about 18 months behind most “normal situation” bio kids.  We have found this to be incredibly true.  So, while we do have a 7 year old adopted daughter, most times we are really dealing with a child who is emotionally and academically about 5 years old.  It does take a lot of time, patience and energy.  Thank goodness we are 2 parents.  Don’t know how one would do it.  Also thrown in is the disruption to our 11 year old daughter, who is also very much affected by the tantrums, fits, etc from her new sister.  This requires us to make sure we make special time for the 3 of us and individually with our 11 year old to make sure we are monitoring and taking care of her needs as well.  That coupled with full time jobs and volunteer work can make for a very long day sometimes.  We have no regrets, just need a little more sleep (but what parent doesn’t)?

I do feel like we are much better equipped to deal with the challenges we’ve taken on than we would have been even in our 30’s.  I think we have a better perspective and can more easily see the big picture instead of focusing on the daily trials (most days anyway).  We might be less tired if we’d done this in our 40’s, no doubt.  But being older does mean for us that we have more financial resources which helps and are more stable in our careers which allows for flexibility during work hours to deal with the latest and greatest crisis.

Finally, I think the biggest plus for my husband and I is that we had 11 years of marriage before we had our daughter.  We had a great life and got to do all sorts of fun things that couples without children do.  Then we had 9 years with only one child, which was fun and rewarding. Now we have another great life and while we do frequently look back at our old life wistfully, there are no regrets.

Posted by My Lovely Daughters on Mar 01, 2012 at 11:42am

My wife and I are 59 and 57 and we are both very excited adopting two sisters from Brazil.

Posted by campgoblue on Mar 03, 2012 at 11:36am

I was 46 and my husband 50 when we brought our 9 month old from Guatemala. We have all been doing great except I am in menopause and having some issues. Anyone else? Anyone exhausted with the menopause and a young child. I also work 30 hours a week at a high stress job.

Posted by 51mom on Mar 10, 2012 at 10:06am

Hey, they keep us older parents young & active! 

Time was on our side:  no mortgage, settled lifestyle, supportive familes, settled marraige, time to play more & work less, relaxed attitude (almost 20 years of nursing experience), had travelled extensively, etc.  (We were in our 40s & now have two teenagers.)

Our birthparents chose us partly because we are the same age as they are.

One issue that could be of concern is that the kids might not have grandparents still alive—or for very long.  However, our kids have had all four grandparents to dote on them until more recently & still have three in their 80s who love them dearly.

A story we love from R.D.—about a lady at a checkout with her two adopted kids:  one a blonde, blue eyed Russian & one with beautiful black skin.  The checkout operator asks her if those are her kids & if they’re adopted.  She says that they are.  The response:  I thought so—you look too old to have kids that little!

Posted by cairtmg on Jun 13, 2012 at 7:32am

I am stunned to learn most adoptions go to parents over 50. When I adopted the rule was 40 years older than the child. I was 41 when my last child arrived, but she was special needs.

All of this rationalization about how we compensate for being less active is just that, rationalization. When I was 50 I could wrestle on the floor with my 10 year old. When I was 60 wrestling with a 10 year old was a bit much.

My first child was born when I was 24, my last I was 41 when she arrived. My first daughter saw one death in the family before she was 20, my last two saw two great grand parents, three grandparents, an uncle, a cousin, and their mother before they were teenagers.

Yes, we do live longer on average, but that is an average. The death rate over 50 goes up, over 60 even more. With that, remember, it’s not just the death of the parents that affects the children.

I see here the same repeated refrain, we traveled, we had our careers. It seems that’s achieving material goals, now children can top off our lives after we have achieved success. An adornment, not a purpose to life.

The high price of adoption is directly related to this trend. Adoption is limited to those with enough money to buy a baby, not focused on those best able to parent. The ability to give a child material benefits does not compensate for taking away the opportunity for the child to have parents who can give them the time and energy when they are young. Spending quiet time with your child does not make up for not having the energy to play catch. And even my daughters liked doing that.

Sorry, I do not see this as a good thing. This is why the local religious adoption agencies have either closed up or drastically reduced their services. Today it’s those in the business for profit who survive. Those who have achieved material success now can afford to bit up the cost of adoption to a point where younger families who are more suited to adopt cannot afford it.

Please do not glorify this, we need to take profit out of adoption.

Posted by Bob Klahn on Nov 08, 2013 at 9:41pm

Sorry about one point, the parent’s age at adoption was over 40, not 50. Still too old for an average. And very much of 40 is too old period without special circumstances. Adopting a relative, adopting from a country where the child is likely to die without adoption, adopting a special needs child is one thing, Adopting a healthy infant should have a first priority for younger parents.

Oh, both my adoptions were special needs children.

Posted by Bob Klahn on Nov 08, 2013 at 9:49pm

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