If you are an older couple hoping to adopt, you may have noticed that many adoption agencies have age requirements for families who work with them. What if you are above the upper age limits? Does that mean you are too old to adopt a child?
Very few states have laws that state a maximum age for adoptive parents. When it comes to finding adoptive parents for a child, the thing that matters most is the ability to provide a loving, nurturing, and safe home. Read on to learn about age requirements at adoption agencies and find out your other options
Why Are There Age Restrictions?
While age does not affect a parent’s ability to love their child, it can have an effect on wait times. Prospective birth mothers often choose to place their babies with younger parents, which means domestic infant adoption agencies cannot guarantee older families a reasonable wait. This is why American Adoptions typically works with hopeful parents between the ages of 25 and 50.
We set this upper age limit for the same reason we require our families to be open to semi-open adoption – because so few birth mothers seek out closed adoptions, finding a closed adoption opportunity could take years. However, your adoption dream is still well within reach.
What Can I Do?
Although some adoption professionals have upper age limits, you have plenty of other options to grow your family through adoption. If domestic infant adoption does not work for you, consider one of these alternatives:
- Foster care – State laws for foster parents don’t have maximum age limits, and foster parents will often be considered first if a child becomes available for adoption.
- International adoption – Many countries’ requirements for international adoption don’t have an absolute age limit, but an age limit in relation to the child’s age. Older couples often successfully adopt an older child abroad.
- Independent adoption – If you have identified a birth mother on your own, you will not need to meet the requirements of an agency. In fact, American Adoptions can help you through our Identified Adoption Program.
So if you’ve ever wondered if there’s such a thing as being too old to adopt, you can set that worry aside – by finding the path that works for your family, you can make your adoption dream a reality.