Are we too old for adoption or becoming parents? These are questions my husband and I asked ourselves a lot, particularly when we were asked if we wanted to be assessed for our youngest daughter. At the time, I was in my mid-forties and my husband was mid-fifties.
When we first approached our agency, one of the first questions we asked was “are we too old?” We were relieved to be told our age wasn’t a factor. What was important was our life experiences, health and fitness and our ability to provide a safe, loving and stable home-environment for a child.
I’m pretty sure I’m a better parent now than I would’ve been when I was in my twenties or thirties. Yes, I may have more grey hair, my body aches a lot, and I definitely can’t cope on little or no sleep as well as I could when I was younger. But other than that, my age has definitely been a positive when it comes to parenting.
One of my posts about this on Instagram has sparked some interesting discussions about age, so I’m pleased to publish this article written by Adopt North East. They are looking for experienced parents to consider adoption and to be matched with older children.
Too old for adoption?
How old is too old to be an adoptive parent? And at what age should a child have been adopted by?
Adopt North East works on behalf of the local authorities in Gateshead, Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, but you don’t have to live in those areas to adopt with them.
The truth is, there is no upper age limit for those wishing to adopt. In fact, more mature applicants are welcomed as they often bring the strength of life experiences to adoption. As long as you have the health and vitality to meet the needs of a child in your care through to adulthood, whatever age you are, you can adopt.
Adopt North East would particularly welcome applications by experienced parents who have children who are now adults, who feel that they still have a lot to offer as a parent. They can be an excellent match for an older child.
There is no upper age limit for a child to be adopted and a number of school-age children are adopted each year. Sadly, children aged over five typically wait 13 months longer to be adopted, yet the need for an older child to find a forever family can be more urgent and Adopt North East works tirelessly for them.
Children like six-year-old Joe* and his four-year-old brother, Ethan*, need a family who can adopt them together. Joe is polite, caring and very articulate. He loves arts and crafts and anything to do with dinosaurs. Ethan is an active little boy who enjoys running around outdoors and playing with his cars, often making bridges for them to drive over. The boys have a close bond and are developing well.
Could you be their forever family?
Adopt North East
Find out more from our website or come along to one of Adopt North East’s regular, informal information sessions – some are held online and others are in-person. Details are on the ‘Events’ tab of the website, or please call (0191) 643 5000.
*names have been changed
If you’d like to read experiences from adopters, adoptees and birth parents, head over to the adoption stories section.