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When do you know it's time?


So after almost 4 years of waiting, I’m starting to re-consider this whole process.  just wondering if anyone else has gone through this?  My husband and I were 33 years old when we decided to adopt.  Now we are 38. We wanted kids more than anything, but as I get closer to 40, I’m starting to wonder if it’s time to stop.  My mind set is beginning to change.  Although they tell you “Don’t put your life on hold”, how can you not in certain ways?  I haven’t been happy with my job etc, but I thought I may as well stick it out until the baby comes.  I didn’t expect it to be this long, however.  I’ve recently enrolled to go back to school (Winter semester) to begin a new career.  I figured it was time to focus on me.  We were also told by the agency that there’s always the possiblity that we will never get chosen,  After close to 4 years, I’m starting to wonder if this is the case for us.  Has anyone gone through a similar thought process?



“Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about”

Have you considered changing paths and looking at adoption through foster care?

Posted by toinfinityandbiond on Oct 21, 2016 at 3:58pm

Beautiful quote…
Where I live, they no longer offer adoption through foster care (such a shame!)  I would like to adopt an older child, however my husband is very nervous about that, so not really on board.

Posted by Josie M on Oct 21, 2016 at 4:07pm

I am so sorry that this has been such a long and difficult process for you.

We ended up switching adoption professionals (we were able to use our home study), and matched within six months.  I don’t know if that is an option for you.  If you have not already reviewed your profile, then I would revisit that and ask for honest feedback from the agency.  Ultimately, the decision to continue is a personal one, but I would not let your age stop you.  I was older than you are when I brought home my oldest, and, as tired as I am, I would not trade being an “older” mom for anything.

Posted by jszmom on Oct 21, 2016 at 4:20pm

We switched agencies too and were matched quickly after that!  Also, I adopted at age 39 and again at 40.  I don’t mind it a bit!  The kids keep you young!

Posted by laural on Oct 21, 2016 at 4:25pm

Would you consider international adoption?  Every human being has their own issues and “older” children are no exception.  I adopted twins at the age of 8 as an older single mom with little to no family support and was advised by many that these were very hurt children and may not be the best choice for me.  Less than 3 years later, they are happy and more or less well-adjusted children who are A/B students in the 5th grade with many activities and friends. Was is always easy, absolutely not there is a lot of pain within them, but worth it - absolutely!  I would encourage you to think about what may be the right thing for you at this phase of your life and follow your heart.  Your life will change, but that is only different, not bad.

Posted by Anne333 on Oct 21, 2016 at 4:26pm

Heck, yeah!  And I WISH I was only 40 again…

We originally went through the foster care system, and after nearly 5 years, we got nowhere (we were too ‘picky’ about behaviors), so we decided to re-evaluate. For us, we moved on to International adoption of school-age children from Latvia.  I’m now 51, he’s 56 and working on our home study with a private agency (so don’t feel you’re too old).  We did this because we decided that we’d rather have a program that was much more likely to get us what we wanted, even if it meant another 18 month wait.

I know you’re frustrated, but rather than giving it all up, maybe look at what is and isn’t important to you both.  You obviously want children.  Are you only looking at domestic babies, or a specific race/sex?  If that isn’t working, consider if expanding your criteria…older children, different race, special needs, or international adoption might better meet your needs now that you’re a bit older. Maybe just a change in agency would do it.  Eastern Europe is actually the best fit for us. If you have to have toddlers/babies, a different region would be better. 

And it’s good not to put other things you want on hold, so kudos for going back to school. You may not get a chance once you have a kid.  We decided to stop waiting for kids to get a puppy, and I have to say it’s been a great decision. I’m happier now, both because I’ve wanted one for sometime, but also because she keeps my mind off of what I don’t have yet.

And what about an interim step - if you can afford the upfront costs - of considering hosting kids this Christmas or next summer? You can get a taste of being a mom, give a kid a wonderful vacation, and maybe expand your options a little. You don’t have to want to adopt the hosted orphans. We’re hosting the most adorable brother and sister this Christmas with the hopes of a good fit for possible adoption later, but regardless, it gives me something to look forward to in the short term.  I can’t wait to decorate Xmas cookies with them!  Oh, and it’s tax deductible. Our program has a deadline for Xmas of 1 Nov, and they have 40+ kids who need host families.  You could have kids with you for Christmas this year! Definitely would take your mind off the longer term frustrations for a bit. If you can afford the time off.

So that’s how we dealt with our frustration.  I hope you find a path that works for you.

Posted by jonesdm65 on Oct 21, 2016 at 4:48pm

Is switching agencies for placement an option?  I know someone with our agency (American Adoptions) who waited for five years before switching and was then placed in less than a year.  We had a great experience with them for our first adoption and would use them again if we decided to adopt a second child.  They are on the more expensive end though ($30k-$40k in total).

Posted by Showalt3 on Oct 21, 2016 at 5:07pm

I know your feeling. We are also going through the same issue as we are in foster care and with an adoption agency.

I am tired….tired of taking my phone everywhere with me because I might miss a call, not going anywhere because they might call, getting upset with my husband because I don’t feel he is as vested in this as I am, emotionally drained it’s not working. All of it.

I think you get to a point where you look at your life and wonder, can I continue this way?  Living life where you don’t enjoy even the little things because you are concentrating on adoption all of the time? I want to live life. Obviously, having a child isn’t in my plan. Sucks, hurts and every other feeling that comes with it.

I am looking at it that I can take care of my nieces/nephew and that’s my story.

At the end of the day, you have to be the one to decide how much you can deal with.

Good luck.

Posted by jlowB on Oct 21, 2016 at 5:14pm

Thank you all for the lovely comments and advice.  It gives me a lot to think about.  Maybe almost 40 isn’t too old wink

Being from Edmonton, Canada, our options are limited There are only 3 agencies to choose from (one is a very strict religious agency that we don’t qualify for).  The one we went with has the nighest number of matches in the province (if you can believe that, lol). 

Our profile is very open to different races, special needs, etc, so I can’t imagine why we haven’t been chosen yet.

We researched international adoption and funny enough they said if we chose that route, the best country to go with is the US. But we were afraid of the complications of international adoption.  The thing is we have so much time and money invested in our current choice now, I don’t feel like we have other options. 

I guess I will remain waiting for now.  Focus on going back to school and new career and see what happens.  It’s just strange, I used to feel so excited about this whole process, but I don’t feel that way anymore.  I feel like I’m distancing myself away from it all. 

Thanks again for the comments smile

Posted by Josie M on Oct 21, 2016 at 5:38pm

I adopted at 42 and my husband 43, we are now 46/47 with an almost 4 yrs old and it has been wonderful! hang in there!

Posted by blumoon1919 on Oct 21, 2016 at 6:11pm

Have you checked out the profile marketing website Canada Adopts!? I have heard that many families have had success there.

Posted by STLmama on Oct 22, 2016 at 10:25pm

I’m 71 now, so another adoption is no longer a possibility, alas.  But I adopted my wonderful daughter when I was “only” 51, and I did it as a single, long-divorced woman.  Becca was 18.5 months old at the time, and has just turned 21 years old.  I must tell you that she must have been a very easy baby, because I found parenting her much easier than everyone had told me it would be, at my age.

If you have reasonable health, a good support network, and the financial resources to hire help for some of the chores that take time and energy, such as mowing the lawn, so you can spend more time and energy on your child, there’s no reason that you can’t be a parent, even if you are 50+.  No, you may not want to play too much basketball with your child, lest you get one of those “weekend warrior” injuries, but you can certainly coach his/her games.  But you’re likely to have a lot more patience when your child throws a tantrum in the supermarket, and you’ll keep young as your child teaches YOU the latest computer game or the latest dance moves.

I would definitely suggest considering international adoption, where older parents tend to have good luck; my daughter is from China.  No, you won’t get a newborn, but adoption of an infant or young toddler may be possible in some countries, especially if you are open to special needs and non-White children.  It is true that international adoption has slowed down a lot, as countries have become more prosperous and people there have become more able and willing to adopt domestically, but if you have some flexibility in your requirements, you are likely to find some countries that will be glad to work with you, because they consider you “young”.  Given that Canada is Hague-compliant, there may be some countries that Canada won’t let you work with, but that is not so terrible, as your chances of running into unethical practices are lower.

Adoption from the U.S. is actually harder than you may think, as most of the available children are much older and/or have significant special needs, and most of the newborn adoptions are done by relatives or acquaintances of the birthmothers, or by people who first do foster care of the children.  In fact, adoption from any country in the English speaking world or from Western Europe is likely to be very difficult; you will have your best chance in certain countries of Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, or certain island nations, such as Haiti.

In any case, be aware that 38 is not considered too old for adoptive parenting.  I can only wish that I was still young and able to adopt some more children.


Posted by sak9645 on Oct 22, 2016 at 11:06pm


Thank you for your comment.  It really does give me some hope.  I think I’m just getting low on patience as we’ve been waiting for so long (or at least it feels like a long time). I would love to do international adoption. Actually when we first looked into adopting, it was China that was our first choice (over domestic).  I lived in Asia for years, so I have a special connection there,  However the agency said that adopting from China is no longer easy, it’s typically a 10 year wait now (where as years ago it was 1-2 years).  I think I will follow through with this domestic adoption as we’ve put so much time and effort into it already, and then look into adopting international.  Most likely from a country that is in need, like you said, somewhere in Africa, Latin America.  My brother lives in El Salvador.  He said the country is filled with orphanges with tons of children who need to be adopted.  I will have to check
to see if it’s Hague-compliant but perhaps that’s my next calling.  smile
So nice to hear that you had a successful adoption and that age wasn’t a factor.  Huge relief!

Posted by Josie M on Oct 25, 2016 at 4:29pm

HI Josie,

I also went thru a long process of many false starts and reevaluations. Finally after 4 years I adopted a teen from Bulgaria as a single mom in my 60’s!

You are right the program thru China is a long wait, however NOT if you go with the special needs kids, some of whom have minor or correctible special needs, that program takes about a year to complete the adoption. So if that is an interest based on your experience, definitely look into that possibility again.

Also there are hosting programs from Colombia and Latvia and both those countries as well as BG are open to older parents. In fact your age is not really considered older in most of the countries I’ve listed! Usually however newborns are not placed outside the country so I’d look at China if you are most interested in a newborn.

You might look at http://www.rainbow and look at the country specifics to see what other countries guidelines and requirements are. Consider what your own priorities are.. age, nationality, race, siblings or not, etc.and then see if you can find a program that has experience with the country from which you hope to adopt . Good luck.

Posted by Happy Camper on Oct 26, 2016 at 10:29pm

I, too, have become extremely discouraged after waiting. I’m the same way—I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth it.  I’m not excited anymore.
We went through several fertility treatments before deciding that adoption was the best option for us. Now I’m scared it’s never going to happen.
How many agencies should we be listed with? Does anyone have suggestions on agencies?

Posted by Sflr on Oct 27, 2016 at 5:50am

I waited over 2 years to adopt a healthy Caucasian infant.  Well, 2 years, plus the 22 additional years my ex-husband was opposed. While I was waiting, life happened.  There were times when I thought I was crazy, and times when I earnestly tried to talk myself out of adopting.  Over time, I decided that an infant wasn’t my exclusive choice, then I decided a baby was not even the best choice for me.  Eventually, after the loss of a referral, because an event in my life prevented me from travelling right at that time, I decided to travel blind.  I then turned down the healthy Caucasian pre-schooler that was offered to me, and adopted my Asian son instead.  He was almost 5 and I was almost 50.  He is now a teen, and a loving, happy young man, a joy and a blessing to our entire family, and his adoption is the absolute best decision I have ever made.  I don’t want to be a pollyanna, because there were plenty of tough times during that first year or so, but looking back, I think when I reached that moment of giving up all expectations, in favor of just being a Mom, and then went for it with my whole heart,  everything fell into place afterward.  The best of luck to you.  I am sure you will make a great Mom.

Posted by klyn1205 on Oct 28, 2016 at 12:28pm

Thanks Klyn1205.  Those words are encouraging.  I am open to many different forms of adoption.  Older, international, special needs (depending on what those needs are and what I am capable of).  However my husband is scared to adopt an older child, he has fears of the unknown.  What he doesn’t quite get is that newborns have MORE unknowns than an older child.  However, I won’t force him into something he’s uncomfortable with.  I hope that in time he will consider an older child.  In the meantime, we wait for our baby I suppose. I know when it happens, it will be worth it….but I guess the fear I have is IF it happens. 
Thank you for sharing your experience (and to all of the others who have commented).  It really has given me hope and made me think about options a bit more.

Posted by Josie M on Oct 28, 2016 at 4:13pm

We waited 2 years to adopt through domestic newborn adoption, but in the process almost moved on and went with our state foster-adopt of two toddlers.Today when I think about how close we were to walking away from newborn adoption,we would have never known our son, and it sends shivers down my spine even now, ten months later, how close it was to NOT being. I almost gave up and moved on due to the frustration, the long wait, the not knowing, the fear that hubby would completely bail on the idea altogether, but I finally realized I just had to have the baby experience, just once. hence, turning down the referral for two perfectly healthy toddler siblings. its different for everyone and maybe you don’t feel that you have to have a newborn. I did. and I had no idea when I turned down the referral for the toddlers, that a mere two weeks later our son would be born and we became parents to a newborn. Just like I wanted. But the not knowing, the what ifs, I remember all those thoughts very well. questioning myself, why am I doing this, how long should we keep doing this. Hubby wanting to move on with life. Me wanting to give up and just pretend to everyone around me that I never wanted kids in the first place, because it hurt too much to admit how bad I wanted it and not end up getting it. because no matter how hard you try to keep up living life while you’re waiting it still seems to feel like you cant because the one thing you really want in life feels out of reach. But it does help to try, it helps to keep the mind occupied and keep us from going totally nuts.  no one can really tell us how long we should keep trying, there are no guidelines, you have to make your own based on what you can tolerate. Its ok to consider throwing in the towel, many people who end up adopting thought about quitting many times in the process.I think it helps us reevaluate why we are doing this to begin with. when you are waiting it seems like everyone around you is adopting or getting pregnant. but there are many different paths to parenthood and different success stories to newborn adoption. the people who are successful with their adoptions are not just lucky folks who got picked right away. They are singles, older adults, and people who waited years. they are people who found their own way. they are people who did not give up, even when all hope seemed lost(sorry, channeling a little Lord of The Rings there). but seriously, if it is what you truly want, don’t give up. it helped me to keep occupied, keep learning new things, keep living life(as best I could) while waiting. It was never easy, though. but nothing really worth anything in life is easy. Age at time of adoption: me 37, hubby 53. so no you’re not too old!

Posted by Lionmama1 on Oct 28, 2016 at 4:37pm

I and my husband hard it tough until we meet a Rev sister and a child rescue professional who accompanied us through our journey and story,by leaning about dumped and abandoned babies who seek Godly loving homes… More prayer dear and it will soon come to pass…. age also i think may not be
a beerier, if only you can promise them of loving and caring for the child it will be yours.

Posted by saveasoul1 on Oct 30, 2016 at 11:00am

We started our adoption process (Philippines adoption of a sibling group) in July 2016, and still have not been matched. *It also took us a bit longer because we had to take some time to save for the Dossier filing fees + our psych eval took a little longer than expected. Wanted to file our dossier in February 2017, but ended up sending it over in July 2017 instead.

We know that with the Philippines, most people wait 2-5 years, but a match does eventually happen. If you are only open to babies though, the wait falls closer to the 5 year mark.

Hope you find something that works for you.

Posted by DeniseMQ on Nov 26, 2017 at 2:19pm

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