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Guest AngelaC

Age of adoptive parents

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Guest AngelaC

My husband and I have finally decided that we are going to persue adoption, having finally sworn off any further infertility treatments!  We started down the road of international adoption (just started a homestudy), but now are having second thoughts about the travel, dealing with foreign governments, etc.  I'm a very young 48, he's 44 and we are wondering if birthparents will choose us or if they'll think we are "too old" to be parents.  Does Abrazo have upper age limits, and what advice do you have for us who are older?  Thanks in advance for any guidance.....

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We had the same concerns, particularly after several other domestic agencies (NOT Abrazo) wouldn't even look at us because of our age.  My husband is 49; I am 42.  We first started our adoption journey with Abrazo four years ago, so we still would have been considered "mature" by many birthparents.  However, we have not found it to be a hindrance for us -- in fact, our daughters' birthparents have told us that one of the things that attracted them to us was how long we have been married ... which ties directly into our age!  I think that as long as you are "young at heart" and active in your lifestyle, that is what really matters ... or so it seems to have been in our case.  I would encourage you NOT to let anyone (or any agency) psyche you out when it comes to age -- it really is a state of mind (and yes, physical stamina too!), but some agencies just don't get that yet!  Hopefully, some of the birthparents who post here also will respond to your inquiry so you can hear things from their perspective.  But, just to put in a plug in for our favorite agency ... I believe you will find Abrazo is VERY open to welcoming adoptive couples in their fabulous forties!  Keep us posted on your adoption adventures ...

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My husband and I were both in our 40s when we started in adoption. Our daughter was placed w/ us when we were 41; our son (newborn) when we were 45. Yes, I think age can be a hindrance if YOU believe it is . . . it will show in your photos and in your speech when you talk to birthparents. (Just my humble opinion)

But, if you are young in thought, actions, and lifestyle, then I don't think age is an issue for many folks. I find that many adoptive parents, however, are not realistic about their physical appearance. Remember, birthparents choose based on a written/visual representation of your lifestyle. For us, it was important that we looked as fit and active as possible.

Abrazo does an excellent job of educating you how to select photos and prepare your profiles. While you are deciding, just keep in mind how others (birthparents) may view you. If you keep your options open and are not too limiting, then I think a terrific match between bparents and aparents will happen!

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I am a birthparent and would like to comment on this if I may. I will honestly say that age can have a huge effect on SOME birthparents decisions but not all. I have placed two babies for adoption and both of there sets of parents were approaching their 40's or already in their 40's. I almost overlooked the fact that they would be wonderful parents because of their age. Mostly because I was afraid of what might happen to them while the kids were still young. Realisticly though something could happen to any of us young ,middle aged or old anyday of the week.I am very glad that I was able to overlook their ages and see what they were able to offer my babies instead. A loving stable home is much more important than age. As long as you are physically capable of keeping up with small children(and at your age that still shouldn't be a problem)and are in good health I believe many birthparents will choose you because of the people you are not your age.I hope this helps! Good luck!

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Guest AngelaC

Jada,

Thank you so much for your perspective.  This really helps. God bless you for seeing beyond the obvious and for making the difficult decisions you have had to make.  Wishing you the best,

AngelaC

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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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I am an adoptive parent and when we were talking to birthparents the thing that seemed most important to the ones I talked to was the length of our marriage and that we had a stable background and homelife. Most of them weren't that concerned with our age, although there was one that did not pick us because we were too young(we are in are late twenties). So don't worry, the most important thing is that you are young at heart.

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AngelaC - Abrazo does not have an age limit, though your life style and physical health will play a part in our recommendations to you.  We have often times overcome adoptive parents' ages by creating fun, active profiles.  If you're young at heart, it will come across in the profile.  If we have birth parents in their 40's (which we do!), then why not adoptive parents!!  Send me your inquiry, I'd be happy to talk to you.

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For those of you who are concerned about being considered "old", how about those who are sometimes considered too "young".  I was 25 and my husband 28 when our daughter was placed with us.  Our BP was 22.  Before we were so blessed with meeting our daughter's BP, we talked with a different BP who was 19 or 20 and did not choose us because she "wanted an older couple".  I must say that we were a bit hurt by that but we realized that as some have already said, it is the BPs preference.   I think we were upset because even though we did get married early... we are mature for our age.  Even the social worker who did our homestudy was taken back by how responsible/mature we were for our ages.  

My advice to you is not to worry.  Just as there may be some BPs who want a young couple, there are those who want an older couple.  Don't put a lot of weight on the age factor and just keep your thoughts on what God has planned for you. :)

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I noticed in the paper that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson just adopted a four month old baby. She's 58 and her husb. is in his late sixties, if I remember right. That sseems a little old to me. Why don't folks like that adopt older kids so the parents are not at the nursing home stage when their children are graduating from high school? Just a thot.

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I agree that 50's is unusual to be adopting a baby but it does not mean they will not be able to provide a good and loving home to a baby for a long time. I know many children who are being raised by grandparents who are much older than that and they are still going strong. I don't believe it is right in every situation but it some cases it may be a perfect match!I believe that Kay Bailey Hutchison has alot of energy and life left(she must think of her job that she does) and will make a wonderful mother. That is not to say that she may still have an ilness come up sooner in her life than most but any one of us could have something like that come up anyday and we would  be in the same situation. I think all cases need to be considered and looked at on an individual basis!

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ok--- just another thought on this....

I am a BP who never even tought about age...i had to decide on the "perfect " family three times all in one pregnancy.... The first couple was young...and they couldn't get their opinions on a medical history question on the bf to agree...  The second couple was older( she had a 18yr old from a previous marriage) and they had the same problem...  Finally the third couple was perfect...and meant to be!

I never saw the pics on their profile...i read the words on the bad faxed copy and hoped they were as great as they seemed to be.... I immediately called and had abrazo set up a phone call.... not knowing age or physical appearances.... i knew they'd have no problem keeping up with a baby....  The way in which they wrote the profile was not young and hip or old and stuffy... but a healthy mix of both...  

I am very glad they took the time to write such a heartfelt letter and didnt stress over things they can't control....  The plan for this couple was already determined as it was for me...a family would happen... and it wouldnt be "if", just "when"...

dont stress just relax and it will come in time....

Lisa J

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An interesting sidenote: Kay Bailey H. and her husband have now adopted a baby boy this year, so it seems that sleep deprivation is a manageable challenge for them... but it does seem to raise the question... how old is too old, when folks at, near or over retirement age seek to adopt newborns only?  (At what point does this become a child welfare issue?)

Rumor has it they have adopted through an agency that still practices closed adoption, so chances are, the birthparents of these children have no idea of the advanced ages of their infant's adoptive parents... it'd be interesting to know if these aps would meet the bps' expectations if the truth were known...?)

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i try to stay knowledgeable adout adoption practices so that when someone asks me i can respond with information that is true and correct.. and for a fact there are several agencies that boast "open" practices but do not offer the full range of options. Several agencies in dallas suggest a limited contact.. which is basically letters and pictures for up to 2 yrs and thats it. however they do offer the option to pick the families. i would hope that the bp's got to choose but i hope that her public life had nothing to do with the decision to override fears of aging aps with fame rather than less fame for younger and less public parents..... i cringe at the thought of someone choosing them so that a basic knowledge and probably pictures through media outlets were a 'better option" than openness

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Guest CJsProudParents

Mommy2(again) made a good point elsewhere when she commented on parental age vs. child energy factor.  My husband and I would have to agree. Even though we would not have been ready in other ways for a child to come into our lives before now, the difference in energy levels between infant/toddlers and forty-somethings is major.  We'd heard about sleepless nights and all that, but nobody warned us about trying to keep up with a busy little boy who is constantly "on the go" (and needs to be) vs. "mature" parents whose bodies just don't have the vim and vigor of 10 or 20 years ago.  We worry about not wanting to stifle his activity or curiosity, but the truth is, it wears us out just trying to keep up his pace! Maybe there is something to be said for older couples adopting older kids, or at least having some upper age guidelines in place. (MDH and I joke that when our little guy graduates from high school, people are going to compliment him on how good his grandparents look for their age, and it'll be us they're talking about!!! )  :p

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I would be very interested in hearing other late 30 something & 40 something parents comment on this topic as well - I'm 32 and overweight - quite overweight.....I'm certain this must have an effect on my energy level though so far, I haven't felt as though it's had any effect on how I interact with Kayleigh & "keep up" although she isn't mobile yet so let's see how things go then (I'm on yet another diet because I want to be able to build box tunnels in our living room with Kayleigh and both Lance & I want to crawl through them with her when she's old enough to do so).  My husband is 43 - although he definitely likes to nap on the weekends - his mom said he's always been this way and I think it's more a factor of boredom than a lack of energy.

I guess upper age limits being imposed on couples wanting to adopt kind of frightens me - I'm just concerned that if that were the case, then where would the limitations end?  One of my biggest fears before we adopted was that my weight would affect our chances of adopting (either by not being accepted by an agency or birthmothers not selecting us because of it).  I'm a skinny person inside - I think I'm in denial about the weight thing although I do so much want to get back to where I was in my skinnier days.  Although I'm not "mature" as you say, I think I'm also in denial about my age and the whole "getting older" thing - as is my husband - neither of us are likely to ever "grow up" and I think we'll work hard to avoid it at all costs (even if we're huffing & puffing around this place and that in order to keep up with Kayleigh).

My mom gave birth to me when she was 36 (she gave birth to my sisters when she was 21 & 23...I was an oops! ).  She always said I kept her young - she's now 68 and not exactly healthy (she's also overweight) but she tries her darndest to keep up with me and now that Kayleigh is here - with Kayleigh (when we visited her back in March - she insisted on getting up with Kayleigh during the night and early mornings to feed her, etc.  I am so glad I was born when I was - I think my mom was a better mom to me than she was to my sisters - her priorities were different, she "chose her battles", she appreciated things more by the time I was born - (now that I've read your post though, maybe all that was a result of just sheer exhaustion??  ha, ha!! )  Anyway - those are my thoughts but I sure would love to hear some feedback from other "mature" parents on their thoughts about all this - (maybe as part of Orientation, we should have a ropes course or something to get us all ready for what's in store for us down the road.....or like a toddler training program type thing...hee hee!! )

I'm no expert on adopting older kids but in some discussions I had with our homestudy person during our homestudy (when she asked us about the upper age limit we were comfortable with for a child/baby) - she gave me some things to think about that I hadn't considered before and I think now my opinion on adopting older kids is that it's not for everyone & it's important to be prepared for the level of commitment & expectations it could require - and I think it's more important that the couple is right for and ready for adopting older kids.  My sister & her husband adopted a sibling group about 2 years ago (their daughter is now 10 & their son is now 8....my sister has a son by birth from her previous husband and he is now 24) and she says all the time it sure takes a lot of energy to keep up with those 2 (I'm of the opinion that I have it easy with Kayleigh compared to all the things she has going on with Alexis & Eric.....camp (and she's volunteered to be a camp counselor this summer), dance class, soccer, homework tutoring (both are very bright little kids but Alexis didn't go to school for a year so she's very behind and neither had any sort of structure in their lives prior to being adopted (their story is almost as hard to hear about as JustMe's) in addition to some medical challenges (FAS, ADHD, etc).  My sister & her husband are now 44 yrs old - when they began their adoption journey - they had said they wanted 1 child....preferably a little girl between 2 - 4 years old who had very minimal special needs.  They rec'd a call about Alexis and Eric & within a few hours, they'd accepted the case.  My sister won't argue that it's a lot more difficult and challenging than she ever imagined it to be (nor will my brother-in-law) but she is also the first person to tell you there aren't 2 children out in the entire world who were more meant to be with them and they are so thankful for being Alexis & Eric's parents -

I guess though my feelings are that in order to ensure what's best for the child, couples considering adopting older kids need to be well prepared to be parents of children who may have had some difficult experiences prior to becoming a part of their family (our homestudy person spent many years doing older child placements and she said too many times people weren't really prepared for everything and actually would change their mind...after the child had already come to live with them, etc - I just think that would be one of the worst things that could ever, ever happen - as well-adjusted and loved, etc as my sister's kids are...they still have shown they're afraid of my sister & her husband "giving them back" - their social worker called my sister the other day just to check in & when my sister asked the kids if they wanted to say hi to her, they both became very quiet and said no and went to their rooms - after she hung up, they asked her what was wrong, why had their social worker called and she was confused and after dragging it out them, they told her they were afraid of "going back".  Heartbreaking!  Sorry, I kind of got off on another tangent.  I hope others will jump in and participate on this topic and maybe even get some feedback on adopting older kids as well

-Lisa :D

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We kinda had a reverse. Our birthmom is close to my age late 20's, but our birthdad is very close to my parents age. I was worried at first that we would have nothing in common with the birthdad, but it does help that he does not act his age. He is so much fun to be around that I forget that he is almost the same age as my Dad. It is nice to talk with him  when we are not joking around because he has "been there and done that." On a side note, when my parents came to Texas after Grace Ann was born, we went to birthparents house for dinner and my Dad and birthdad got along wonderfully.

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OK -- I'll be one of the first ones to post that we are "mature" parents -- my husband is 51 and I will be 44 next week (oh my gosh!) -- and we are parenting three girls, ages 5, 4, and 2.  No doubt that we are tired at the end of the day ... but since I have nothing to compare it to, I don't really know what I would have felt like had we been parents in our 20's, which is when we first married.  I do know that we certainly were not ready to be parents at that time -- still too involved in establishing careers, travelling, etc.  In fact, I have no doubts that we are MUCH better parents today because we're not worried about careers or missing out on anything -- we've done everything we really wanted to ... except parent ... and now we have the blessing of being able to do that too!  So, in answer to the question above, I guess I would not be in favor of blanket age limits when it comes to adopting.  Instead, I think agencies and social workers need to look at the APs' ages on a case-by-case basis and see how that plays into their physical abilities, mental thought processes, etc.  I know that my husband is in FAR better shape than many of the 30-something dads we know who are parenting children the same age as our girls ... and he certainly thinks "young" (I often say I am parenting four children instead of three!).  Everybody is different -- age is just one factor in a long list of many to consider.  Also, we adopted our children at ages 19 days, 2 years-7 months, and 6-1/2 months.  There were different challenges in adopting at a toddler age (and there are posts elsewhere in the Forum that address this more specifically), and I wouldn't necessarily say that older parents across-the-board are better suited to handle these challenges -- again, this is something that definitely needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

By the way, we are old enough to be our BPs' parents!  In fact, our BP (who is estranged from her own family) often has said to me, "Why do I need to talk to my parents when I have you and G instead?"

Isn't that just the wierdest???!!!

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Hi Lisa - In answer to part of your questions, my husband Brian and I were 38 (him) and 39 (me) when we adopted our family almost 9 years ago.  Our children were 2 months, 1 and 2 years at that time.  I would say at that time we didn't "feel" old, although we were concerned that no one would pick us (a) because we were "older" and (B) because we both could stand to lose some weight.  Our fears were pushed to the side when we were chosen by our children's birthparents.  We have three very active children, and although we are nine years older now, we do get tired, but we keep up with them.  I think kids keep you young.  This winter was very snowy and although I am not a winter sport lover, my husband took our children sleigh riding many times and yes, he was sore the next day, but he had a blast with them.  Am I tired at the end of the day because I'm 47 (yikes), or is it because of what goes on between 3PM and 10PM?  I'll let you decide.  This is a sample of a typical night in our house: we come home from school, have a snack and start homework, I try to have dinner ready for my husband and whoever has a ball game that night, my husband on the way to his night-time job drops whichever child has a ball game off at their respective field (sometimes two have games on the same night at fields across town) and then I attend the game or games with whomever doesn't have a game.  I keep one eye on the game and the other eye on our other children to make sure everyone stays safe.  By the time we get home (around 8PM), sometimes we still have to eat dinner, finish homework and get baths/showers.  So, by the time I get them tucked in and then make lunches for the next day and straighten up the kitchen, I too, am ready to hit the sack.  I usually wait up for my husband and then go to bed.  I don't know if age has anything to do with it, because when I talk to the 30-something parents in our town, their lives sound the same as mine.  They too, are exhausted and in bed at 10PM.  Lisa, don't worry ... you'll keep up with Kayleigh!

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Well my post to this is kind of strange I guess. I have had children at different times in my life and definately enjoy it more now that I am older. I have three kids who are 14 years(15 in August) 11 years and 19 months. I had my oldest when I was 17 years old and my youngest when I was 30 almost 31. I can say that I definately had more energy at 17 then I do now but at 17 I wasn't really able to enjoy my daughter and appreciate everything about her like I do my son now that I am older. At 17 everything got on my nerves alot easier. Spit up and poop seemed more disgusting then it does now. But the draw back is I realize how fast they grow up. At 17 it didn't even cross my mind. All I wanted was for my daughter to be more independent and do things on her own and now with my son the thought of him growing up brings tears to my eyes. I believe there are some advantages of being young and having more energy but I think there are more advantages of being a little older and more patient and appreciative(sp?) of just how special your kids are!

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Guest Dcj

Hello. I am new and thinking of contacting Abrazo for adopting. But before I do I would like to know wether or not we have a chance.

 I am young. I will be 20 yrs. old in May, my husband is 35, we have been married 1.5 and we have one biological child of 11 months. We are also a military family.

 We are interested in adopting an AA, biracial, or perhaps an infant with a special need depending on what it is.

 I read on their web site that they are geared toward helping those with infertility problems. But we do not have any problems that we are aware of. We just have room and love to give and feel that all children need homes. I was wondering if this hurts our chance of adopting, even if we are open to another race or special needs child??

 I would also like to know what brought other to use Abrazo for adopting? What they have to offer?

 Thank you for your time. Any answers or advice would be great.

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Oldest American Mom Births Twins

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery on this one?

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Thanks, Elizabeth, I feel so much younger now!!! tongue.gif

I didn't know which to join first when I turned 50....the PTA or AARP!!

(I did join the PTA...however, I'm not ready to start sending in those dues to AARP just yet!!)

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My thoughts.....

I think if someone is so very much wanting to be a parent that they'll go to the ends of the earth to make it happen (whether it be through adoption, fertility treatments, or just the "old fashioned" way)...more power to them. Having a parent(s) who love you very much and raise you in a supportive, loving environment is a wonderful thing - the more children who get this...the better!

Will it create its own set of challenges? Probably....but what doesn't? Every family has some situation or another that presents some challenges. I'd have to say that living a 4 hour plane ride from my family members has presented quite a challenge for us (not to mention the 10 hour flight we live from Lance's mom and brother). I'd always imagined my child growing up near family, spending lots and lots of time with aunts, cousins, & grand-parents....so - whatever the challenge is...I think we just overcome it and make the best of it. But...I bet those twins will receive more attention and love than they know what to do with. I feel like I had years of bottled up love for a child that is probably overwhelming for Kayleigh at times but that was just 4 years of wanting to be a mom - at 56 yrs old - I bet this lady has been longing for this moment for a very, very long time!

-Lisa

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My sister has 3 grown children and at the age of 45 found herself pregnant again. She has said from the time that little girl entered this world that she feels like she is a much better mother now at her age, and enjoys motherhood much more now than she did when she was in her 20's. In this day and age when most of us are living to well into our 80's I think that the 50 something year old mom will be blessed with many many years with her children, and perhaps her age will benefit her as was in my sister's case.

Jeannie

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