Adoption doesn’t just mean bringing home a tiny infant. It can also mean adding an older child to your family. Older child adoption is not as common as infant adoption, but it should be. Here’s why.
1. Older kids are just as lovable as infants
Sure, if you adopt an older child, you miss out on the baby days. That can be hard. But that doesn’t mean an older child couldn’t bring you just as much love and joy as a baby. Older children are every bit as worthy of love and care as infants. They may not be tiny and squishy and cute, but each one is brave, beautiful, and unique. They matter.
2. You can make a difference
Adopting an older child is NOT an act of charity. However, older child adoption can be mutually beneficial. You get the benefits of parenthood, and they get the benefits of love and stability that they might not have known without you. Older children who are adoptable have been through hard things; otherwise, they wouldn’t be adoptable. What they’ve been through isn’t their fault, and they deserve the love and support they need to heal from the hardships they’ve been through.
There are roughly 30 hopeful families for every infant placed domestically in the U.S. According to childrensrights.org, roughly 62,000 children are eligible for adoption from foster care, the majority of those being older children. An average domestic infant adoption costs anywhere between 20 and 50 thousand dollars. Adoption from foster care costs next to nothing. Logistically, it’s more likely and more cost-effective to adopt an older child from foster care than an infant domestically.
4. Adopting an older child will enrich your life
The challenges and joys of raising a child who has his own story will be worth it. Every child has her own personality, quirks, and interests. Whether you watch that personality develop from the beginning, or you come into the picture a few chapters in, the story is just as beautiful. You have the power to change the direction of that person’s journey for the better while learning and growing right alongside him or her.
Adopting an older child isn’t for everyone, but it could be for you. Opening your heart and your home to an older child will bring you joy, learning, and lifelong love.