Can you choose the age of the child you adopt?

Adopting is a wonderful life-changing decision for both you and the child.

Each adoption story is unique, and the age of the child you adopt can completely define your experience.

To mark Adoption Month, is running a series of articles breaking down the process and sharing stories from those who have gone through it.

Here, we look at whether you can choose the age of the child you adopt.

Can you choose the age of the child you adopt?

Just like choosing the gender of the child you adopt, you can also choose their age.

When applying through an adoption agency, they will ask you if you have an age preference and will try to match you with a child of that age.

However, it is possible that your child match may be a year or so older or younger than you requested.

You can also give a more general preference, such as ‘below the age of four.’

Do babies get adopted quicker?

Jon, an adoptive dad, shared his story of adopting an older child.

He told YouCanAdpot: ‘There is little publicity material promoting the positive aspects of adopting older children or even dispelling such myths as an older child has ‘too much emotional baggage’ to connect with an adoptive parent.

‘In fact, there are many advantages to adopting an older child: there is usually more information about health or developmental issues and birth parent disputes tend to be resolved. Life story work is well in progress because everything about the child’s past is out in the open.’

He added: ‘What most people do not understand is that an older child, because they are more aware of what is happening and want a forever family, are more capable of deciding to love their new parents – and showing this – than any baby.’

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Adoption Month

Adoption Month is a month-long series covering all aspects of adoption.

For the next four weeks, which includes National Adoption Week from October 14-19, we will be speaking to people who have been affected by adoption in some way, from those who chose to welcome someone else’s child into their family to others who were that child.

We’ll also be talking to experts in the field and answering as many questions as possible associated with adoption, as well as offering invaluable advice along the way.

If you have a story to tell or want to share any of your own advice please do get in touch at [email protected]

  • Why we’re talking about adoption this month
  • How to adopt a child – from how long it takes to how you can prepare
  • The most Googled questions on adoption, answered
  • How long does it take to adopt a child in the UK
  • Adoption myths that could be stopping you from starting a family
  • How to tell your child they are adopted 

Visit our Adoption Month page for more.

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