What to know before adopting in your 40s

Adopting a child can be a wonderful and rewarding experience however, sometimes the process can be complicated. In this article, we’re going to discuss what you need to know before adopting in your 40s.

Some people may wish to spend the first 40 years of their lives focusing on themselves rather than having children. Perhaps they wanted to spend their younger years travelling, focusing on their career, or spending quality time with a family, friends or even a love interest. 

You might get to a point later down the line where you decide you want to have children, and that’s okay. It comes as no surprise that having children in your 40s is later than most others, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do. There are many options available to those wanting to start or grow their family, including pregnancy, surrogacy, or even adoption. 

While adoption is a fantastic way to provide a safe and loving home for a child, the process can be complicated, but there are also many things to know about adopting in your 40s. To ensure everything is handled correctly, seeking guidance from a family law solicitors is recommended. To learn more about adopting in your 40s, keep reading… 

Is Adopting in Your 40s Fair to the Child? 

Unfortunately, older parents are often subject to criticism from other parents and professionals for having children later in life, but does that mean it is unfair to the child? 

Many people are now living till they’re 81. Meaning there is a high possibility of 40-plus years spent with your child. It is, however, realistic to say that life circumstances can undoubtedly alter and that none of us know what the future has in line for us. However, these unforeseeable situations shouldn’t prevent you from starting your own family nor does it mean that it will be unfair to the child if you adopt in your 40s. 

What do You Need to Know Before Adopting a Child in Your 40s?

There is no Upper Age Limit 

There is a common misconception that there is an age limit when it comes to adopting, but this is a complete myth. There is no upper age limit to adopting a child. So long as the person adopting a child is in good health and has the energy to provide appropriate care for a child, they should be eligible to adopt. 

However, it is worth keeping in mind that there are some situations where, if you are in your 40s that you may be matched with an older child rather than a baby or a younger child. 

You Are Not Alone 

If you have never had a child previously, it can be quite scary being a first-time parent with no idea what to expect, especially if you are older than the average parent. 

It is easy to feel like you are alone in your late parenthood and that you can’t relate to other parents because you are not in the same age bracket, but this is far from the truth. More than ever are individuals choosing to have children later in life, focusing on other aspects, such as their career, buying property, building wealth, travelling and more. 

An article posted in 2013 on Coram stated, “66% of parents who adopted through Coram in the last five years were aged 40 and over.” While this was released nine years ago, another article posted on the Independent in 2020 after statistics were released from the Office for National Statistics suggests a similar thing, with about half of women born in 1989 not being mothers. This shows that even seven years later, many people choose to have children later in life. 

The Adoption Process Can be Lengthy 

If you do decide to proceed forward with adopting a child, it’s wise to note that the process of adoption can take a considerable amount of time, meaning while you are currently a certain age, by the time your adoption is finalised, you could be a couple of years older. 

This does, however, completely depend on the circumstances of the adoption. On average, a straightforward adoption takes between six to 12 months, but it is highly likely that the process could take even longer in some situations. 

There Are Lots of Steps Involved

Before you can adopt a child, there are a number of steps involved in the process to ensure that you are suitable and fit to be an adoptive parent. Examples of the adoption steps include: 

  • Assessments
  • Training 
  • Series of home visits

You can learn more about the adoption process on first4adoption to help you prepare.  

Being in Your 40s is Not Too Old to Adopt 

What we can conclude from this article is that while adopting a child is a big commitment at any age, being in your 40s doesn’t mean you are any less able than other parents who are perhaps younger. 

The process of adoption remains the same, there are no extra checks, and most importantly, you aren’t alone. Thousands of other parents are in their 40s and becoming first-time parents. 

Have you adopted a child later in life? What are your suggestions to other parents looking to do the same? Let us know in the comment box below.

Photos by Kenny Eliason, Picsea, Guillaume de Germain from Unsplash