Adopting Older Children

Adopting Older KidsMany older children are available for adoption from foster care and internationally. What we mean by “older” differs slightly by type of adoption.

In foster care adoption, caseworkers tell us that they usually do not have trouble finding adoptive families for children under the age of six, so they consider “older” to be school-aged. In international adoption, “older” often refers to children over the age of two.

Parents choose to adopt older children for different reasons. From a survey of our community of parents who adopted older kids, we heard the following motivations for adopting older kids.

  • Older parents that believe they are too old to adopt an infant
  • A desire to provide a home for a child “that really needs it”
  • Experienced parents that enjoy the school-age years
  • Families with an active lifestyle and the desire for a child that can “hit the ground running”
  • Working parents wanting a child that is in school
  • Parents with children already in the home that did not want a large age gap between their children

Adopting older kids is a great way to create a family, but all children past infancy available for adoption, regardless if they are in an orphanage abroad or in US foster care, have experienced life before adoption, and this life has often included abuse and neglect.

A history of trauma affects children and changes the way they need to be parented. With good preparation and support before and after adoption families and their children can and do thrive.

Creating a Family has many resources to prepare and support older child adoption. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:

Many more Creating a Family radio interviews with experts, videos, blogs, fact sheets, and Q and A’s with Experts on adopting older children can be found at the icons below.

Sources: Creating a Family radio shows below

Image credit: Sergio

Additional Resources

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Creating a Family Radio Shows on Older Child Adoption

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Creating a Family Blogs on Older Child Adoption

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Creating a Family Factsheets, Tips on Older Child Adoption

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Creating a Family Videos on Older Child Adoption

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Q and A's with Experts on Older Child Adoption

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Content created by Creating a Family. And remember, there are no guarantees in adoption or infertility treatment. The information provided or referenced on this website should be used only as part of an overall plan to help educate you about the joys and challenges of adopting a child or dealing with infertility. Although the following seems obvious, our attorney insists that we tell you specifically that the information provided on this site may not be appropriate or applicable to you, and despite our best efforts, it may contain errors or important omissions. You should rely only upon the professionals you employ to assist you directly with your individual circumstances. CREATING A FAMILY DOES NOT WARRANT THE INFORMATION OR MATERIALS contained or referenced on this website. CREATING A FAMILY EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS LIABILITY FOR ERRORS or omissions in this information and materials and PROVIDES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, implied, express or statutory. IN NO EVENT WILL CREATING A FAMILY BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, including without limitation direct or indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages, losses or expenses arising out of or in connection with the use of the information or materials, EVEN IF CREATING A FAMILY OR ITS AGENTS ARE NEGLIGENT AND/OR ARE ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.