There are several joyous events that one can look forward to later in life: retirement, travelling, and for some, adoption! In today’s modern infant adoptions, increasingly diverse demographics are seeking to adopt, and couples over 40 are amongst the leaders of the pack. According to a 2007 national survey of adoptive parents, 73% of all adoptive parents were between the ages of 40 and 60*.
There are several reasons why some might choose to adopt a newborn later in life as well as many advantages!
Choosing to Adopt Later in Life
The reasoning for adopting a newborn at a more mature age varies from person to person. Some hope to establish a career and financial security before beginning an adoptive family. Some prefer to travel or gain valuable life experiences before starting a family. Others begin looking into adoption after years of attempting to get pregnant and/or trying infertility treatments. Often times, individuals decide to adopt in order to create a family after being remarried, or even to continue parenting after their children have grown and left the home. These reasons and circumstances naturally place the adoptive parents at an older age.
Seeing these common trends in adoption, older individuals seeking to adopt a child should not be deterred by the adoption process!
Advantages to Being an Older Parent
Often times, older adoptive parents have gained more valuable life experiences than their younger counterparts, and can use those experiences to provide for and successfully raise an adopted child. It is important to note the many benefits of being an older adoptive parent, just a few of these include:
- Emotional maturity and self-awareness
- Stable relationships
- Financial stability
- Job security and flexibility
- Experience with children and access to resources for help (either from own previous experience or family/friends that have parented)
- Having matured values
Being Chosen as an Older Adoptive Parent
As our average life expectancy increases, it becomes more common and perhaps, practical to have children later in life. Often times, older prospective adoptive parents worry about how age may increase their wait time to adopt. However, birth mothers choose adoptive parents for different reasons. In fact, some birth mothers prefer placing their child with an older adoptive family. This may be because some younger birth mothers cannot imagine placing their baby with someone their own age. In many cases, the idea of financial stability, wisdom, and life experience, that often accompany older adoptive parents, appeals to women placing their baby for adoption.