Hi! I’m Joy and I’m writing about adoption for 31 days in October. If you are new, start HERE.
The age question. Depending on which path you choose to adopt, you will not only be asked the race question I mentioned yesterday, but you will also be asked the age question. This is not as touchy as the race question, but still hard to answer sometimes.
“What ages of children are you willing to accept?”
Some families are adopting in part because of infertility issues. They want to start out with an infant. Some families have had babies, they are done with that phase of life and want older children. Some families have a heart for certain ages or are better at parenting certain ages.
Here was our though process in the beginning: We want to keep our birth order, don’t want to displace our biological children. So, they need to be the oldest. So, we put that we are willing to take in children under the age of 5. That was the age of our youngest son when we started. Well, now that son is 9 years old and we have a 2 year old. So now we usually say we are willing to accept children under 9 years old. However, the situation would need to be carefully evaluated. Foster/adoptive children with violent or aggressive tendencies or issues with sexual abuse may not be safe to bring into our home for the sake of our 2 year old.
There is so much to consider when answering the age question.
The hardest to place children are kids with special needs, sibling groups, and kids over the age of 9. I still have a heart for those older kids, the teenagers who will age out of foster care if no one adopts them. They are hard to place and if they age out, statistically, their future is grim. But we firmly believe that teenagers would not be best for our family right now. Does that mean they never will be? Nope. Maybe we can pursue older kids when the kids we have right now at home are grown.
I used to think like many other people that infant adoptions were the easiest. A friend of mine called them the “Cadillac of adoptions”. 🙂 The only way I can really see that they are the easiest is that you have that child from the start. You can nurture, teach, grow, and discipline them from the very beginning. I get it, they don’t come with “baggage”. But they aren’t always easy. The birth parents come with baggage. More often than not, the baby has possibly been exposed to drugs or alcohol. There is a lot of brokenness in infant adoptions, just like there is in any adoption.
So, before you check off any old box, take time to consider all the aspects of “the age question”. 🙂