Couples and singles in their 50s, 60s and beyond are embracing parenthood, according to adoption and child welfare agencies. And older adoptive parents may be best suited to guide school-age children or teens toward adulthood.Be sure to look at the comments at this post, where lots of readers disagreed with my argument that age is just an imperfect proxy for life expectancy, energy levels and mental flexibility, and that with individualized screening in adoption we don't need such proxies.
Of the 3,330 couples active on the AdoptUSKids website in late March, 43 is the average age for prospective fathers and 41 for prospective mothers, says Kathy Ledesma, the agency's national project director.
"More 50-plus people are adopting, more are adopting older children, and they do indeed face challenges, especially when they want to adopt younger children," says Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York, which conducts research and develops policy on adoption and foster care. "Adopting older ones from foster care is the easiest route for them by far."
While many adoptions among those 50-plus are domestic, some would-be parents consider international adoption.
2 months ago