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Guest AngelaC

Age of adoptive parents

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Ok...I am not sure that my opinion is one that you want to hear, But here goes anyway...For me, age didn't really have any impact on me at first...but then it hit me one day that age did have an impact,My A.P.s were in there later 30's, and I worried that they may not be able to keep up with a little one...stamina, as we all know is in great demand with toddlers etc...but my biggest concern was medically with age, we all know that the risk for many life threatening diseases is higher with age...and my true fear stemmed from that(I know that none of us have a guarantee that we will be alive tomorrow) but I didn't want to give my child up,in hopes of offering a better life, and then find out that she had endured the worst kind of pain for a young child, the loss of a parent....in the end, meeting these people face to face gave me the ability to see past age as an issue...That was key to me...I needed to see for myself, and I did, and learned that they probably had more energy than I myself did...LOL...so I guess I am saying that you should maybe expect some to be a little taken aback at your ages(young as you are!)but have faith, because it is an issue that can be rather easily overcome.I hope that my candid response does not discourage you any, have faith and it will all come together.....Smile, K.T.

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Believe it or not, I am being led to some very sick ironies today..of all of the threads I could read to to look for the reminders on here, I keep finding ones like this...I never even go to the adoptive parents pages anymore...R.I.P. Shelley...:'(

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sad indeed and my biggest fear too!

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This weekend, my boys and I were having one of those "heavy, deep and real" car conversations... I don't know what got them on the topic, but somehow, the fact that their parents' cumulative age is 102 led them to ask what they should do if they're ever at one parent's house or the other and they can't wake the respective parent up in the morning?! It got me thinking... while we had the "if anything ever happens to Mommy or Daddy, you call 911 and tell them your name and age and address and they'll make sure help gets to you" talk... I started wondering if there are certain life lessons that more "mature" parents need to focus on, since there's a reasonable likelihood that our kids could be parent-less by the time they reach our age?

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Ours was a dinner conversation... Gabe asks...

Mom if I find you dead, how do I call Uncle Ray and tell to come get us? Reality check for sure!

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This weekend, my boys and I were having one of those "heavy, deep and real" car conversations... I don't know what got them on the topic, but somehow, the fact that their parents' cumulative age is 102 led them to ask what they should do if they're ever at one parent's house or the other and they can't wake the respective parent up in the morning?! It got me thinking... while we had the "if anything ever happens to Mommy or Daddy, you call 911 and tell them your name and age and address and they'll make sure help gets to you" talk... I started wondering if there are certain life lessons that more "mature" parents need to focus on, since there's a reasonable likelihood that our kids could be parent-less by the time they reach our age?

Wow, Elizabeth, I didn't realize your ex was 73! I mean...if you're just 29! ;)

Not trying to make light of a very important topic...thanks for bringing this up as I have never thought about teaching Joshua what to do if something were to be wrong with one of us and the other parent isn't around.

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According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, more and more older adults are turning to domestic adoption.

At Abrazo, most of our successful adopters are between 32 and 46 at the time of placement. We find that most of our 20-35 year old placing parents seem most at ease with adopters whose age is somewhere between their age and their parents' age. But very few birthparents are eager to place their newborns with couples whose ages are closer to their grandparents' ages (and keep in mind that for teenagers who were born to teen parents, their grandparents are often in their fifties). :o

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According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, more and more older adults are turning to domestic adoption.

At Abrazo, most of our successful adopters are between 32 and 46 at the time of placement. We find that most of our 20-35 year old placing parents seem most at ease with adopters whose age is somewhere between their age and their parents' age. But very few birthparents are eager to place their newborns with couples whose ages are closer to their grandparents' ages (and keep in mind that for teenagers who were born to teen parents, their grandparents are often in their fifties). :o

Wow, good information. I get questions from people all the time about adoption now. It may be a co-worker or a random phone call from someone who's gotten my number from a friend of a friend... or yesterday someone at our CPA's office. Most times, the couples are in their late 30's/early-mid 40's and are asking about if their age will affect an expectant parent's decision! I do tell people that Abrazo has a full spectrum of couples whose ages range tremendously, but an expectant parent being comfortable with "somewhere between their age and their parents' age" makes a TON of sense. It even applies to our case... Mama B was 17, we were 28 and her parents were in their 40's.

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HOPE FOR AARP MEMBERS INTERESTED IN ADOPTING!!

I'm genuinely glad little Asia is getting adopted, but I hope one of the conditions of her South Carolina placement is that there's a Life Alert unit in the adoptive home, because God forbid this little girl should have to summon help before she's old enough to use a phone or give CPR?

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Out of the mouths of babes, as they say... wise counsel for those of wise age:

http://www.adoptivefamiliescircle.com/blogs/post/older-parent-adoption-childrens-feelings-fears/

Your thoughts?

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Wow, this is something I have quesitoned myself about before. I don't feel like being over 40 prevents me from being an active, fun loving mother. But as this article said, it makes me think of the age I will be when Lathan is this age or that age. I think now, am I to old to adopt again? In my heart I don't feel like I am, but to be honest I wonder if outsiders looking in think I may be? Just thinking outloud. I can not imagine out lives without our son and believe

he helps us stay young and active.

That is what hair color is for, to keep us young looking. :P

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Very interesting and timely. I heard this story Freezing Eggs To Make Babies Later Moves Toward Mainstream on NPR yesterday. So whether it's by adoption or waiting later to give birth to a baby, age and motherhood is a hot topic.

I remember telling myself when Charlie was born that now I want to live to 85 so we can have 50 years together. It's probably not healthy for me to worry over it since it's not entirely in my control - but it does sometimes remind me to stay on track with healthy habits for eating, exercise and seeing a doctor when I should. But that said, I just lost my father who was only 56 and he had me at the ripe "old" age of 20! He told me several times that he couldn't imagine being sick like that if we were all still growing up in the house. I'm sure we would have made the most of our time if that was our situation - you do what you have to do - but it would have been harder on him and on us I think.

On the one hand I think it is something to think about in a child-centered way and to try to reassure your children that stressing over the fear of the unknown is worse than facing reality - if and when something painful happens - and to just live happily in the present of each day. That's the best we can do. I liked one of the comments that someone left on this blog post that her parents are older but she wouldn't have changed a thing - no regrets. Agreed, losing a parent is painful and they are rarely perfect people and they themselves probably would have liked to change some things - but a child (hopefully) can look back and acknowledge a lot of happiness in the midst of that imperfect (and sometimes painful) world, and live without regrets because it's the only reality they'll ever know. We have a responsibility to try to minimize the loss and pain our children (and all of society's children) feel but we also have to acknowledge that there are lots of ways to live life and come out happy (blended families, older parents, second marriages, open adoptions....) - so it's hard to put a solid cut-off date on motherhood in my mind.

That said, I do think our society needs to be more motherhood-friendly with social policies so we don't have to choose between careers and kids. But I'll save that for another day!

Amy

Amy

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This is something I have struggled with and went into my calculations for ending fertility treatments. We knew we wanted more than one child and then we started doing the math. We expected to face some adoption age discrimination, but Drake came to us 5 months after orientation. We were really blessed. We are planning to start the adoption process again next year and it will be the last for us, although we would love to have more. Haukur is 7 years younger than I am, so age is not such a concern. I still fear that birth families will be concerned about my age, but we are leaving it to God.

Drake is only 2, so we haven't faced these math issues yet. Haukur and I are from families of longevity. Haukur's grandmother turned 95 last month and still lives alone. My grandmother will be 92 on Halloween. Honestly, I do wish I was younger for Drake's sake, and for my own. I don't want to miss a minute of his life. We have such a nice mix of friends, several older mommies like me, several older daddies, some adopted, some not, but younger parents, too. We keep up with them all, and we will address any issues as they arise. But yes, this is definitely in my mind. I need to finish dinner and think about this some more, organize my thoughts better. Thanks for posting this article.

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Out of the mouths of babes, as they say... wise counsel for those of wise age:

http://www.adoptivef...feelings-fears/

Your thoughts?

I am in my third year of being a Reading mentor/tutor thru the OASIS program, which is for adults over age 50. I am currently mentoring a second grader, and I meet with her once a week. I always start off with a little "How was your week? Did you do anything fun" sort of icebreaker. This past Monday, the student told me she had gone to a birthday party for her grandma. Then she volunteered that her grandma was 47 years old! I just looked at her and smiled, since I am 11 years older than her grandma!! Oh my.....

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I think about this alot, Elizabeth. And more so as the years go by.

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As the single mom of boys who will have two parents who will be card-carrying members of AARP before they graduate from high school, I can't help but worry that they are likely to become "midlife orphans" (like me) by the time they're my age.

By choosing to not become a parent until I was 39, my sons reaped the benefit of having emotionally-mature parents who were also financially-secure, but the tradeoff is that their parents don't have the energy their classmates' younger parents may have, and may or may not have longevity on their side. (And being homegrown, their support system may be regrettably somewhat limited in that event.)

Up until this stage of my life, I've always believed fiercely that one "cannot be too old to be a good parent" and my agency's age policies for adoptive parents have reflected that.

However, I do think there are tradeoffs to every choice we make, and the downside for adoptees placed with older parents has to do with their capacity for compounded loss (ie., the reality that they may grow up suffering the loss of two sets of parents by adulthood.)

This may be another, unanticipated advantage to fully-open adoptions; that in essence, the adoptee could still have access to his/her birthparents of origin, should his/her older adoptive parents have a more limited lifespan than expected?

Yet we owe it to children who have had to be adopted to seek to shelter them from further losses, to whatever extent we're able, and sometimes I wonder whether working with adoptive applicants over fifty who are seeking to adopt only newborns really accomplishes that goal?

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Ooh, this is a tough issue. I find myself worrying about it more and more, actually. I sometimes even wonder if our adopting was ethical.

But then, as an RN, I see a lot of crazy stuff. We once had a 28-year-old grandmother when I worked in labor and delivery. And just recently, we've had 3 patients in their 20s and 30s that I've worked with who have less than a year to live due to cervical cancer. In some ways, we have lived in an ideal time, too, in that, in the past, people regularly died of infectious diseases--you could have a 30-year-old dad die when you were 10 after something so seemingly "small" now, as the flu. These kinds of deaths happen less often now, but still I am sometimes struck by how difficult people's lives can be, and how quickly things can change. There are no guarantees for anybody, at any age.

Of course, the chances are better for younger people . . . My dad was my age when I was born, so I just hope to keep on ticking along as long as he did. But, yes, it's difficult and scary.

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This has been a topic of discussion in our home, too.

If/ when we decide to start the adoption journey again we might be over 40. Yes, 40 is not old but our ages is still something that we have to factor in to our decision.

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Oh, at just over 40, you should totally do it! No worries. I have a LOT of friends who had their first kids at 41, 42, 43. To me now, heading toward 50 all too rapidly, 40 seems so young. Just make sure that you all are taking good care of your bodies. There are no guarantees (life isn't like that), but I swear I see patients every day who are 10 years younger than me, and yet they have so many health problems brought on, to some extent, by poor health behaviors that they seem 10 years older than me! If you have kids late, it is super-important to try to be healthful because they are going to want you around for as long as possible, and you are going to want to see them grow into the beautiful people they will be, too. :)

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Patty-

Thanks!

We were watching him interact with his cousins last week and Alexander just looked so happy. So it really made us start thinking if we wanted to jump in again and if we did, when?

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That is exciting Leah! Brian was almost 42 and I was 37 when Kiera was placed with us. Although Kiera was 2 1/2 years when we took placement of her, it was a big adjustment for her and our family.

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When our youngest graduates from high school, my husband will be 67 and I will be 60! YIKES!

Do we think about being older parents? You betcha. And, we do everything in our power to "stay young" and plan for the future -- the kids' and ours.

We are forever grateful to Abrazo for being one of the very few adoption agencies that didn't immediately write us off the books for our ages when we first started our journey to being a family in 1997. But, the reality of the situation is that there ARE many age-related things we now must consider if we truly want to be the best parents possible for our girls. Serious things, like maintaining life insurance, having a good financial plan in place, updating wills and designations of beneficiaries, determining guardianships, and keeping physically fit. And, there are some light-hearted things too, like knowing what Dubstep is, dealing with grey hair (and no hair!), understanding that Flo Rida isn't the same as Florida, staying awake past 8:30 p.m., dealing with menopause (and MAN-opause!) symptoms at the same time the girls are PMSing, and graciously coping with being called "Nana" by the Walmart cashier (AARGH!).

In fact, probably one of the most eye-opening experiences I ever had as an "older" mom came when I was on a school field trip with our youngest daughter's class. I rode in the car with another child's mom, who lamented the entire way about her upcoming birthday. When I asked her how old she was going to be, she sadly said, "Twenty-nine. Next year I'll be 30 years old!" To which I took a deep breath and announced, "Wow! Can you believe that my husband and I were married the same year you were born?!"

Yee-haw! Viva the Mature Mamas of this world!

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Karen - feeling your pain, as I will be 50 in two weeks. Its important to stay young at heart - although I don't play video games, I do listen to music with the boys via radio Disney and we are going old school on the music for their lesson ( Beatles, Areosmith, Micheal Jackson ect). Stayingt and active as helped me feel younger when helping out at school or sitting with the 30 something Mom's at the ballfield.

Post more Karen - miss you around here!

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To answer your post Elizabeth, I think that the thing you do have to do with older aps is demand greater financial strength and preparation. A 30 year old with few retirement savings is forgiveable because they have time to make up for it. If I were screening 50 year old aps I would be looking for certain levels of retirement funds, life insurance and lower levels of debt to equity.

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No word yet on how this baby came about, but Steve Martin reportedly just became a father at the age of 67...

http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/13/welcome-to-parenthood-steve-martin/

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