Parents Share: Deciding What Age Child to Adopt

From newborns to teens to sibling groups, real adoptive parents share the thought process behind their age preferences when adopting.

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On our Facebook page (facebook.com/adoptivefamilies), we asked readers, How did you decide what age child to adopt? Here’s what you said:

"I wanted to be a parent of a newborn. I didn't want to miss out on any of the bonding and I wanted to experience parenting from the very first moment. I was present at the births of all three of my children through the graciousness of their birth mothers." —AMY

"I’m not super into the baby stage. Don’t get me wrong—I loved when my two biological kids were babies, but I was all done with diapers. I knew my strengths were best suited to kids ages three to eight, so that’s what we requested when we started our foster-adopt process. Our first placement was a three-year-old. About five years later, we adopted a six-year-old. Both girls are amazing. Bonded. Kind. Resilient. I am so proud of them every day." —MARYANNE

"We wanted a child younger than our biological daughter. Our son came to us at 11 months old, 15 months younger than our daughter. I hope to get the call to schedule his finalization any day now." —AMANDA

"We struggled with infertility and miscarriages and wanted to be parents through all the stages. Our daughter (now three) was placed with us at a few weeks old. Once she is a little older, we’d like to adopt older children who are close to 'aging out' of foster care." —ERIN

"We initially said we had a preference for ages seven to nine. We knew we were past diapers and, hopefully, wanted to be past car seats. It didn't turn out the way we expected and our 'babies' were four and 11. It's not like Burger King—you don't get what you want, you get what they need, and we are all better for it." —MICHELLE

"I said I was open to females ages 10 to 14. I don’t know what to do with a newborn and am totally not into changing diapers. In general, as a single mom, I felt that kids younger than five weren't a good plan. By age 10, they can talk and laugh with you. That's why that was the youngest age I’d take. My 11.5 year old came home shortly after finishing foster parent classes, and we are living happily ever after." —MELISSA

"We wanted an infant. Why? We're infertile and young. We wanted to parent from the beginning. We wanted our child to only remember us as his or her parents. We wanted to see our child grow through each stage. We wanted to be called Mommy and Daddy. We felt like we'd already given up so much, we didn't want to give up the dream of holding an infant in our arms. Then we got a call about nine- and 10-year-old girls, and God changed my heart. We never expected to adopt older kids, but I can honestly say that adopting my daughters has been the beat choice we've ever made." —ELLA

"We didn't necessarily decide. We looked online for kids of all ages, although, if asked, I would have said older than five, since they are considered less 'desirable' and, therefore, less likely to be adopted. We ended up adopting a sibling group from another state that spanned 12 months through eight years of age." —AMANDA

 

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