Which Age Group Should You Adopt From?

In this blog post, we will answer the question “which age group should you adopt?” In this article, we will answer questions relating to the ideal age of adoption, if your own age is a factor to consider while adopting, and different age groups you can adopt from. 

Which Age Group Should You Adopt From? 

When you welcome a new member into your family via adoption, it is a huge, life-changing occasion. 

Foster care is a lifetime duty for parents, even though their financial and legal responsibilities terminate when their children reach the age of majority (typically 18). 

As a result, before to beginning the adoption process, it is critical to perform some research.

When considering family expansion, there are numerous forms of adoption and pre-adoption foster care to consider.

  • Using an Adoption Agency
  • Adopting on Your Own
  • Identification-Based Adoption
  • International Adoption
  • Adopting as a Couple of the Same Gender
  • Adopting a child as a stepparent
  • Adoptions of Relatives
  • Adoptions of Adults

Does your own age matter in adoption? 

If you’re an older couple interested in adopting, you’ve probably seen that many adoption agencies have age limitations for working couples.

 What should I do if I am over the legal drinking age? Is this a sign that you’re too old to adopt a child?

Adoptive parents can’t be more than a certain age in most states. The capacity to offer a loving, caring, and safe environment for your kid is the most critical factor to consider while looking for a foster parent.

What Is the Purpose of Age Restrictions?

While a parent’s ability to love their children is unaffected by their age, it might alter how long it takes to wait.

 Because expectant mothers frequently choose to leave their infants with younger relatives, national infant adoption agencies are unable to provide older families with a fair expectation. 

As a result, American Adoptions mostly works with prospective parents aged 25 to 50.

We impose this maximum age limit for the same reason we want families to be adoptive-minded. 

Because only a small percentage of birth moms want closed-door adoptions, locating a closed-door adoption opportunity might take years. Your adoption ambitions, on the other hand, are still within grasp.

Adopting regardless of age restriction

Although some adoption specialists have older age requirements, there are numerous alternative ways to expand your family via adoption. 

Consider one of these options if domestic adoption isn’t suitable for you:

  • Family in foster care:

Adoptive parents are not subject to any age restrictions under state law, and when a child becomes available for adoption, the adoptive parent is frequently given priority.

  • Adopting Internationally:

Many nations have age limits based on the child’s age, despite the fact that there is no absolute age limit for international adoption regulations. Adopting older children from abroad is a common success story for older couples.

  • Independent Adoption/ Adoption on one’s own terms:

You don’t have to comply with the agency’s standards if you’ve personally confirmed the birth mother. Actually, through its adoption identification program, American Adoptions may assist you.

The “decision” is the most difficult element of the adoption process for many adoptive parents. 

Some people have a distinct image of their child: a Chinese baby, a baby like you, or a teenager from the neighborhood. 

Others find the procedure unsettling because it raises concerns about ethnicity, age, and gender.

The first and most crucial decision concerns your age. Many parents want to see their child’s “first days,” first smiles, and first steps. 

Take your time to consider it. You can rule out international adoption and the choice of a boy or a girl if you wish to adopt a baby.

Few adoption specialists will tell you this, but if you decide to adopt a newborn, picking a surname might be challenging. 

If you want a baby, you’ll have to choose between private adoptions or adoptions with few alternatives for picking a male or a girl. 

Many organizations enable you to select your gender if you wish to adopt a kid over the age of one (local or international).

Is it irrational to want a newborn when there are so many older children available for adoption?

It is your job, as with all other possibilities, to adopt the kid you are most suited to nurture. This is what you should do if raising a child from infancy is really essential to you. 

Keep your age in mind while deciding the age you’d want to adopt. A maximum age difference between parents and children is required by several shipping nations and some US distributors (usually 40). 

You cannot, for example, adopt a kid under the age of five if you are 45 years old.

What is the most difficult age to adopt?

According to many adoption specialists, newborns (children aged one to three) have the most difficulties going through the adoption process. 

They are old enough to mourn the loss of familiar people and places, but too little to comprehend what is going on.

“Parents describe adoption as the most delightful experience,” Karen Schultz, Adoption Specialist at the Center for Adoption Support and Education in Silver Spring, Maryland, stated.

For a newborn, though, it might feel like he or she has been stolen.” It’s tough to know how a child will react to a new environment. 

While some children adjust quickly, many others require time and care, as well as parents who are aware of the challenges of adopting a kid at this age.

Are you ready to adopt a toddler? 

What do you want to achieve? Don’t lie. Consider an adolescent who has successfully completed toilet training and is sleeping through the night. 

Because of sadness, neglect, and institutionalization, a recently adopted 2-3 year old kid may behave like a younger child. Have you have a good physique? 

Many newborns require regular holding and transportation in order to be safe. Others are engrossed in learning about new life experiences. 

To keep up in any case, you’ll need a lot of energy and stamina. Do you have the ability to put up with outlandish behavior? For hours on end, some newly adopted babies are irritable, cry incessantly, or act violently. 

Is there anyone who can help you? It’s possible that the demands will be enormous.

Do you have any relatives or acquaintances that might obstruct your plans? Is post-adoption support offered by your institution?

Adopting a baby first and an older child later

Some adoption agencies will not allow you to adopt a kid out of the birth order; they prefer that your adopted child be the youngest in the family. 

If you wish to adopt a kid who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, make sure to ask this question while speaking with adoption agencies.

If you’re considering adopting a kid from a developing nation, bear in mind that age estimations aren’t always correct. 

Newborns can be several months younger or older than predicted, and we know of families where a “four-year-old” turns out to be seven, or a “eleven-year-old” turns out to be fifteen. 

Before accepting your referral, go to a physician who specializes in international adoptions if you’re adopting an older kid and age is significant to you.

In terms of adoption, what does “older” imply?

Adoption specialists typically refer to youngsters above the age of five when they speak of older children. Some of our friends have adopted both babies and older children. 

They claim to have different experiences and skills, but the final link and love is the same.

Contrary to common opinion, older children are less prone than children adopted before the age of five to have attachment difficulties.

 A kid who has acquired a strong connection (to a parent or caregiver) at some time in their life has laid the groundwork for eventual healthy bonding. 

The elder child, on the other hand, had plainly suffered from loss, neglect, and abuse. Additional assistance should be arranged by parents (for children and themselves).

Adopting older children can have significant benefits in terms of speed, cost, and gender preference. 

Some of our families had shown an interest in having older children from the beginning. Others choose their path after carefully weighing the choices. 

They’ve all become proponents of adopting older children.

Is it possible to select the age of the child you adopt?

You may pick the age of the kid you adopt, just as you can choose the gender of the child you adopt.

 When you file for adoption through an agency, they will ask if you have a desired age and will try to match you with a kid of that age. 

Your child may, however, be a year older or younger than you requested. More broad options, such as “Under 4,” can also be selected.


It’s crucial to consider the age gap between your children. 

When adopted children join your home, they will feel insecure in a variety of ways, and adoption agencies will do nothing to jeopardize your or your child’s safety. 

According to research, each child should have his or her own area, therefore a larger age difference between children may be preferable.

 Adoption agencies prefer to adopt the youngest kid in a family if there is a considerable age gap of at least two years.

A significant age gap can assist each kid feel secure in his or her place within the family, as well as prevent disputes caused by children being at the same developmental stage. 

Existing children develop and are better able to comprehend and support their newly adopted siblings’ needs.

Adoption agencies may prefer that the youngest kid be 3 or 4 years old or older before applying because most children who give up adoption are not newborns.

The time spent waiting might be used to conduct research and learn more about adoption.

A message to potential adopting parents who are single, single, or LGBT

Some states have established legislation that make it permissible for public welfare agencies to discriminate against people based on their religious beliefs. 

This makes it more difficult for some adoptive parents who identify as LGBTQ or are single. 

If you’re planning to adopt through an agency, look for one that is non-discriminatory on the Human Rights Campaign’s All Children All Families directory. 

The Family Law Institute of the LGBT Bar Association also maintains a list of attorneys who are devoted to diversity.


  1. https://www.adoptivefamilies.com/how-to-adopt/baby-adoption-vs-older-child-adoption/ 
  2. http://childwelfaresparc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/National-ADOPTION-FACTS1.pdf 
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/18/parenting/guides/adopting-a-child.html